The Top 5 U.S. States With The Highest Roadkill Collision Rates

Elk, deer, and reindeer, moose make up a significant number of roadkill collisions that are potentially dangerous for drivers.
Elk, deer, and reindeer, moose make up a significant number of roadkill collisions that are potentially dangerous for drivers.

Roadkill is an everyday occurrence where a critter meets an unfortunate end when attempting to cross the road. In many cases that will involve squirrels, rats, raccoons, and possums with almost no consequence to you or your car, except for maybe some guilt over the incident. However, some roadkill incidents can be quite dangerous to the driver if it involves a larger animal like a deer, elk, or moose.

According to Consumer Reports, approximately 1.3 million deer are hit every year by cars in mostly rural areas. Research by Pew Charitable Trusts claims that roadkill collisions result in 200 deaths, 26,000 injuries, and at least $8 billion in damages every year. Many new roads will often cut through the natural pathways that many elk and deer use for migration routes, serving as a potential hazard both to the animals and the drivers.

Because a significant majority of roadkill collisions occur in rural areas, insurance provider State Farm compiled a list of U.S. states that are more likely for drivers to experience an “animal collision”.

RELATED: California Suggests “Cleaning Up” Highways By Eating Roadkill

5. Michigan

While the state of Michigan is home to Motor City, a large portion of it consists of rural areas with a high likelihood for a driver to run into/over an animal. According to the study by State Farm, from July 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020, Michigan drivers had a 1-in-54 likelihood of being involved in an animal collision.

4. South Dakota

The state of South Dakota is a largely rural state in which tourists from around the world will hit the road on their way to see Mount Rushmore. To be precise, the size of South Dakota is 77,116 square miles home to the Black Forest and rolling prairies. Because that is a lot of natural land home to all kinds of wildlife, South Dakota drivers have a 1-in-53 chance of experiencing a roadkill incident.

3. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the northeastern states in which roadkill collision is significantly high. Drivers in more rural communities have a 1-in-51 chance of hitting a large animal with their car.

2. Montana

Montana, much like South Dakota, is a state ripe with natural wonders like the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, and Glacier National Park. Because this state has only a small handful of urban areas, nearly all of it is largely rural. Based on the data, Montana drivers have a 1-in-47 chance of experiencing a roadkill collision. For comparison, the national average in 1-in-116.

1.  West Virginia

The state of West Virginia ranks at the top of the list where drivers have a 1-in-37 chance of running into a large animal on the road. White-tail deer make up such a considerably huge portion of the state’s population to that in 2021, over 100,000 deer were harvested during its annual hunting season.

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