Deer accidents frequently happen in the US. If you’re a driver, you have a 1 in 116 chance of hitting a deer with your car.

To help you understand where you’re most likely to get into an accident and what to do if you hit a deer, we’ve compiled all the information you need. 

Let’s dive right into it. 

Little Known Facts About Deer Accidents 

  • Every year about 1.23 million car accidents with deer occur in the US.
  • An average of 200 Americans die from these accidents each year.
  • Most accidents happen in the fall, especially in November. 
  • 10,000 Americans are injured in deer car accidents annually.
  • Warning signs can reduce collisions in high-risk areas by 34%.
  • You have a 1 in 36 chance of hitting a deer in West Virginia.
  • In 2018, animal collisions caused 190 deaths.
  • In 2017, there were 251 motorcycle and deer collisions in Michigan.

Deer Accidents Statistics

1. Every Year About 1.23 Million Car Accidents With Deer Happen in the US.

(Source: ARC Solutions)

  • An average of 200 Americans die from these accidents annually. 
  • In comparison, between 2–5 people die there from bear attacks in North America every year. 
  • Most accidents involving deer happen in the fall, especially in November

There’s a lot more to learn. Let’s check out some more deer collision statistics. 

2. 10,000 Americans Are Injured in Deer Car Accidents Each Year.

  • Warning signs can reduce collisions in high-risk areas by 34%
  • Between 2002–2007 in Edmonton, Canada, accidents with deer decreased from 139 to 78 after putting warning signs. 
  • Deer accidents happen primarily between 6 pm–9 pm

It’s good to have an idea of what your chances of getting in an accident with animals are. 

3. The Average American Has a 1 in 116 Chance of Colliding With an Animal.

(Source: Insurance Information Institute)

  • 67% of all animal collisions are with deer. 
  • One positive that came out of COVID-19 is the decreased number of deer accidents in 2020 by about 20%
  • In 2019, there were 1.96 million insurance claims for animals collisions.  

Let’s have a look at where you’re most likely to get into a deer accident.

Deer with large antlers looking into the camera

Deer Accidents by State

Accidents by state help us understand which areas we are more likely to have a run-in with a deer. 

4. The State Where You’re Most Likely to Hit a Deer Is West Virginia.

(Source: State Farm)

  • You have a 1 in 36 chance of hitting a deer in West Virginia.
  • The second state with high possibility is Montana. There’s a 1 in 47 chance. 
  • Coming in third is Pennsylvania, with a 1 in 51 chance. 

But that’s not all. Let’s explore more deer car accidents statistics by state. 

5. The Fourth State Where You’re Most Likely to Hit a Deer Is South Dakota.

(Source: State Farm)

  • In South Dakota, you’ll have a 1 in 53 chance.
  • Number five on the list is Iowa, with a 1 in 58 chance of hitting a deer with your car. 
  • Last but not least is Wyoming, with a 1 in 64 chance. 

Unfortunately, some of these accidents lead to death.

two small deer jumping together across a green field

Fatal Deer Car Accidents

The average American has a 1 in 116 chance of colliding with an animal. Deer are one of the most common animals and have caused many deaths. 

6. In 2018, Animal Collisions Caused 190 Deaths.

(Source: Insurance Information Institute)

  • In 2019, Minnesota alone had 1,263 deer accidents, with three fatalities
  • Between 2009–2018, 27 people died in animal collisions in South Dakota. 
  • In Montana, between 2009–2018, there were 43 human deaths from animal collisions. 

But cars aren’t involved in all the deer accidents. 

Motorcycle Deer Accidents

Most fatal deer car accidents happen with motorcycles. 

7. In 2017, There Were 251 Motorcycle and Deer Collisions in Michigan.

(Source: Michigan Department of State Police)

  • 190 of them involved severe injuries — that’s 80%.
  • Motorcyclists are three times more likely to die in deer accidents than cars, SUVs, and vans combined.
  • Of the 50,949 accidents with deer in Michigan in 2017, 31,391 happened on roads often used by motorcyclists. 

So deer accidents are a lot more likely to hurt those without the protection of a vehicle. Let’s see what happens with bikers. 

8. Bikers in Virginia Have a 1 in 102 Chance of Hitting a Deer.

(Source: Nickelsporn & Lundin)

  • In Maryland, there’s a 1 in 114 chance. 
  • 70% of deer crash fatalities are motorcyclists. 
  • In 2012, seven of the eight deer accidents in Maryland and Virginia involved motorcycles. 

But it’s not just vehicle accidents you should worry about. 

female deer looking into the camera while standing in a green field

Deer Hunting Accidents Statistics

Deer hunting happens a lot in the US. Let’s check the details.

9. Most Hunting Accidents Happen During Deer Hunting Season.

(Source: ThoughtCo)

  • 1,000 hunting accidents happen every year. 
  • 6,000 injuries of hunters are due to falling from a tree stand. 
  • Deer hunting requires much more powerful rifles, so injuries can be severe. 

But to make it fair, we also need to look at how many deer humans kill.

 10. Deer Accidents Statistics Show 25,000 Deer Die From a Vehicle Collision. Annually.

(Source: Outdoor Life)

  • If that’s not bad enough, hunters kill six million deer every year. 
  • Discarded cigarettes cause 8%–10% of all US fires. Unfortunately, while many animals will get out of a fire, they’ll lose their natural habitat
  • Outside of hunting season, there’s a 97% deer survival rate every month. But deer aren’t the only hunted species. Poachers in Africa kill 100 elephants each day

So, what can you do to prevent an accident?

How to Avoid Hitting a Deer

To avoid the worst possible outcome, you need to know what to do if you hit a dear. 

  • If you see a deer, slow down. Deer roam in packs. So if there’s one, there are usually more nearby. 
  • Don’t swerve! It’s difficult not to swerve out of the way instinctually while driving, but you can cause way more damage if you change direction.
  • Drive with your lights on.
  • Always keep an eye out for deer crossing signs. 

Wrap Up

Deer vehicle collisions statistics aren’t the nicest to read, but it’s important to know your chances. And compared to other deadly incidents, they’re quite high. For the average American, it’s 1 in 116 chance. 

Every year, 200 Americans die from deer collisions, and 10,000 are injured. 

Despite that, humans kill over six million deer during hunting season in the US and about 250,000 with road collisions. 

FAQ

How many deer get hit by cars a year? 

One million, and that’s just in the US. It makes deer one of the most dangerous animals in North America, as 200 Americans die every year from vehicle collisions with the animals. Still, hunters kill over six million deer annually, so we’re much more deadly to them than they are to us. 

Does liability cover deer accidents?

No. You need liability insurance to drive legally in nearly all states, but that doesn’t cover accidents with deer. It covers the ones you’re responsible for. A deer running into the road isn’t your fault. We highly recommend looking into comprehensive insurance, especially if you live in a high deer population area.

What to do if you hit a deer

Don’t swerve! In deer accidents, you have less chance of a severe injury hitting the deer straight on than if you swerve. Pull the car over and call the police or 911 if anyone is injured. Don’t approach the animal. It may look dead, but it could kick you. If there’s no immediate danger, take photos of the damage for insurance. It’s best to be careful and always check for warning signs to avoid deer accidents.

  1. ARC Solutions
  2. Insurance Information Institute
  3. State Farm
  4. Michigan Department of State Police
  5. Nickelsporn & Lundin
  6. ThoughtCo
  7. Outdoor Life
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Emma is a lover of all animals. Her cat Pumpkin enjoys stretching out in the office while mom researches the best information on how to care for their fellow furry friends. Emma’s passion for animals started at a young age. Back then, she dedicated her time to shelters and vet clinics in South Africa. Her enthusiasm for writing and research is behind the most reliable information for pet lovers. She believes in treating animals with the devotion and respect they deserve.