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

  • 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!

    • Ronnie

      Dale, you are a 100% right.

    • 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.

    • trina

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

  • 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.

  • thornton

    Pennsylvania reduced their deer numbers, so can WVa. Fewer deer-car collisions, less property damage, healthier forests, reduced nest predator populations....a smaller deer herd is a win-win-win-win result.

    Can't think of a single advantage for more deer. Same for the silly elk that WVa may be forced to endure.

  • JGriffith

    people should go the speed limit & pay attention to their surroundings. you can't go anywhere without people driving like a bat out of _ _ _ _. no wonder there are so many accidents with & without deer or any other wildlife for that matter.

  • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

    What happen to the big joint study between the state and the insurance companies that was supposed to lead to hog fences at high volume deer crossings and other options????

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      I meant high fences, sorry for the typo.

  • Grant

    I hate deer. We have way too many in this state. They should double the length of the season and bag limits.

    • 2XLPatriot

      A lot of that can be attributed to season bag limits, no minimum point requirements and poor management. So, Both the DNR and hunters alike are responsible. Ridiculous regulations and idiots with guns shooting anything brown with small horns to get "their buck". Poor herd management results in over population which causes deer to travel further for adequate food.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    good point gregG let them pay part of our car insurance

  • GregG

    What I don't understand is why the State is not responsible for the damage. The State has laws to protect the deer. The State sells licenses to hunt the deer. The State tell you how many deer and what sex you are allowed to kill. The State can fine and incarcerate you for not obeying their laws regarding deer. So it is pretty clear to me that the State OWNS the deer. Now let my old cow get out in the road and someone hit it.............want to guess who is responsible then?

    • lifetimehunter

      I like it. The state also makes poachers pay restitution!!!!!

      • GregG

        I'm a hunter also, but I still believe if the State is going to control every aspect of the deer, then the State should be considered the owner of said deer and be responsible for any damage the deer cause just as I would be held responsible if one of my farm animals were to cause someone damage.

    • Grant

      Well said!

    • rdl

      The citizens are the state. Couldn't imagine how much taxes would go up to pay for insurance on deer.

    • Robert Foreman

      The deer are not the property of the State of West Virginia nor are the raccoons or other wild life .

  • rose

    You can't go anywhere in WV without almost hitting one of the pesky critters.

    If you don't hit one you have had a good day.