According to the latest research, Pennsylvania drivers rank #1 in the nation for the number of animal collision claims, with over 153,000 estimated animal collision claims filed from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. Deer made up the large majority of damage to vehicles from animals, followed by rodents, dogs, raccoons, and coyotes.
As well, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1 in 59 chance of colliding with an animal while driving, ranking Pennsylvania #3 for risk. The national average is 1 in 127. West Virginia is the riskiest state for collision, with a 1 in 38 chance of colliding with an animal.
Most animal-related crashes in the U.S. occur from October to December. While most collisions involve deer, many other animals cause accidents, including dogs, cats, farm animals, and rodents.
Nationally, the insurance industry paid for an estimated 1.8 million animal collisions over the past 12 months (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023). Claim costs for animal collisions can vary wildly, ranging from a bumper scratch to a total loss, depending, among other things, on the size of the animal that you strike.
The months drivers are most likely to collide with an animal in the U.S. are:
Animal Collision Safety Tips
- Slow down. Reduce your vehicle’s speed and maintain a constant lookout for animals. Travel at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if an animal comes into the beam cast by your headlights.
- Use extra caution and slow down in known animal crossing zones.
- Dusk to dawn are high-risk times; use high beams when appropriate.
- Scan the road and avoid swerving when you see an animal. Brake firmly when you notice an animal in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- Move your vehicle to a safe place: Pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
- Call police: If an animal is blocking traffic and could create a threat for other drivers.
- Document: Take photographs of the road, your surroundings, and damage.
- Stay away from the animal: A frightened, wounded animal could use its legs and hooves to harm you. Do not attempt to move an animal.
- Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive: Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, and other hazards.
- Contact your insurance company: Quickly file your insurance claim.