West Virginia remains the most likely state to hit a deer while driving.
MetroNews staff photo
West Virginia remains the most likely state to hit a deer while driving.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite a lower rate of deer/car collisions across the United States, West Virginia remains the most likely state in which a motorist will hit a deer while driving.

“There’s been a decline of about 4.3 percent,” said Dave Phillips, spokesman for State Farm Insurance. “West Virginia though is still number one.  The average nationally is about one in 174 to hit a deer, but in West Virginia it’s one in 41.”

West Virginia with its miles of rural roadway has held the dubious distinction in State Farm’s annual survey for seven straight years.

“Even though West Virginia remains number one, that’s an 8.3 percent reduction from the previous year,” Phillips said. “The crashes are down, but there’s still an issue that those deer are out there.”

The average deer/car collision costs 3,000 dollars in repairs.

Montana is the second most likely state to hit a deer where the chances are one in 65.  Iowa is third with a one in 73 chance. Rounding out the top five of state’s where you’re most likely to hit a deer are South Dakota at one in 75 and Pennsylvania at one in 77.

State Farm’s data suggests November is the most likely time to hit a deer on the highway. November is the peak of hunting and rutting season for whitetail deer and makes the more vulnerable to a human interaction.

“The thing is to just be alert we’re headed into that season of the year,” Phillips suggested.

 

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Comments

  • Richard Gross

    Chris

    I'm looking for deer vs. vehicle information by county for the state of WV for the past 6 years. Any information on where I should look to get these stats would be very helpful to me in my GIS class at Marshall University.

    Thank you

    Rich

  • Aldo Leopold

    Can we get the State to admit they have no deer management plan? Should we expect the State with far too many deer to NOT pass laws that make the baiting of deer on public lands illegal? Can we expect the State to protect the forest resources by eliminating a substantial number of these pests? Is there a biologist that we can promote that would manage by quality and not quantity?

  • WV Worker

    We have several poachers in McDowell Co. who we can ship to other counties. Believe me they will wipe out your herd in a matter of days. They have here and nothing has been done. So please take them. If you have anything in the woods that breaths and walks they will take care of them too. The poachers will kill every squirrel they see also. They even shot ducks in the creek for fun. So please let us send them to you all.
    .

  • Anthony

    Florida has a ten foot high fence along the interstates. Sounds like a good idea. Let's put those inmates and failed "home chemists" to work!

  • Jonesy

    At least we are #1 in something!

    • Harpers Ferry

      Don't forget #1 Party School and #1 in drug overdoses!

      • Larry

        We're only #1 in overdoses per capita, but if the druggies keep going we may take the total # record too!

  • john

    And one other point; The state is considering stocking elk in southern West Virginia, and before long they would migrate all over the state. Just imagine if you should hit one of those big animals what damage it would cause to a vehicle or even death. I think the idea is a big mistake, but then again most ideas like that it not made with common sense in mind....

    • GregG

      They don't care about the driver, all the DNR cares about is $$$$$. Instead of the $3000.00 average damage done to a vehicle, elk will total a vehicle and kill some people also. Can't find a grouse or quail in this state anymore, but we need to stock elk so those folks that watch all them fake hunting shows can give the DNR money to kill something with antlers.

      • thornton

        Well, no...the WVDNR is forced to have an elk policy solely due to KY's herd and escapees across the state line. I expect the DNR would rather not deal with elk. Once forced to deal with the things then the WVDNR should make money off of elk.....hit the elk hunters and deer hunters with fees as hard as elk and deer hit the early successional...or a car.

  • Harpers Ferry

    Kill ALL deer! Kill ALL animals!

  • WC

    LG
    Not all drivers hit deer under the circumstances you mentioned. I was doing none of the things you mentioned but when the deer are on the edge of the road in the tree line they are unpredictable. I had to completely stop on back to back days to avoid deer that darted out in front of me. If it had been dark I would not have seen either of these deer on the narrow roads in mingo county.

  • CaptainQ

    The deer collision rate is one of the main reasons why auto insurance premiums are higher than the national average in this state. This is one of the disadvantages of the 'deer hunting' industry in WV. It's awful where I live when if you drive at night you have to usually play 'dodge car' with those stupid critters. What's worse is during the late summer/fall when the young deer who don't have any sense at all roam in the roads during the daytime! Why not have a longer deer season so more of these roadside menaces can become dinner rather than hood ornaments?

    • trina

      I agree with the ole captain on longer hunting seasons. Its much more resourceful to use deer meat as delisious food for your family rather then rotting on the side of the road and let natural death feed the woodland animals like intended if man were not here.

  • LGill

    The state should punish auto drivers the same as poachers if you injury or kill a deer with an auto you should be fined and pay deer replacement cost Bear also included. Then maybe the nuts on the road would get off the phone and drive responsiblely. So far I have driven WV roads for over 45 years and have not hit any deer or bear or any thing else. Drive with some sense, keep your eyes open and stay off the phone. If you want to hunt deer buy your license and use a gun or bow. Why do people get behind the wheel an think they own the road.

    • trina

      I have lived in WV my whole life and have hit 4 deer in the years I have been driving, and I am a senseable driver! I have not been on my phone or not paying attention when it has happened, but when you live back in the woods and there are trees/hills on either side of the road things just kind of happen. So don't blame the driver and you obviously can't blame the deer, its a situation that just happens. When poaching it intentional, when a deer runs out of the woods in front of you at the last split sencond how does that have any intention to harm it? I say its part of living in the great hills of WV!

  • Ken

    Yeah, kind of odd that if you poach one or illegally kill one you have to pay the state for killing their deer but if you hit one then it is your deer so how do you know which one belongs to you or which one belongs to the state.

  • Larry

    I heard the DNR was parachuting wolves into areas with high deer densities to help control the population.

    • Shadow

      I think wolves, elk, and grizzles should be stocked in Coonskin Park.

      • Larry

        Hey, I'm with you, maybe even throw a moose or two in for good measure.

  • John Doe

    I was wonderding why I found a dead coyote with a State Farm tag on its ear.

  • Dale

    The State has to sell deer licenses so they can raise trout to stock WV streams to give welfare recipiants something to do during the day before the beer joints and strip clubs open in the evening!

    • trina

      Hahaha! Dale are you my dad!?! Same name and he would say something like that lol

    • Larry

      Hey, that's not all they do, they also spend hours working on junk cars, hanging rebel flags in their trailer windows, and building crude dog houses for their pitbulls.

    • Ronnie

      Dale, you are a 100% right.

  • Shadow

    What I like about it is that DNR is that they charge you extra to get a second doe when that is what should be done to alleviate the problem.

    • Shawn H

      Exactly, Shadow. They need to let you kill at least 1 doe without having to buy a stamp. They have to realize that when you kill a doe in the late fall, you are actually killing at least 2 deer, sometimes 3, with the fawn inside her. Of course, all of the abortion rights activists would start protesting for the life of the unborn fawn, even thought they don't care about an unborn child.