It’s important to remember that deer-vehicle accidents can occur at any time of day or night, on any day of the year – and that deer can show up in urban areas as well as rural ones.
The insurance company State Farm found that on average, U.S. drivers have a 1 in 116 chance of hitting an animal, with much higher rates in states such as West Virginia, Montana and Pennsylvania. Over the 12 months ended in June 2020, State Farm counted 1.9 million insurance claims for collisions with wildlife nationwide. Around 90% of those involved deer.
Where deer or other ungulates are likely to be present, drivers should always be alert and cautious, especially at dawn, dusk, on bright moonlit nights and during the fall rut. In addition, drivers should be aware that after the fall time change, they may be more fatigued, and their evening commute from work may have shifted into the dusk hours, when risk of hitting a deer is highest, and coinciding with the rut, when the risk is at its annual peak.
This is an update to an article previously published on Sept. 21, 2021.