Every year thousands of animals collide with vehicles.
It's not an unusual occurrence, especially in October, November, and December. New data shows U.S. drivers on the average have a 1 in 116 chance of a collision with an animal, according to the State Farm annual study. The company estimates there were more than 1.9 million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019.
“Claims after collisions with an animal range from small dents to totaled vehicles and injured drivers and passengers,” says Michael Braaten, director, Enterprise Research. “By sharing ways to help drivers be aware of the increased dangers this time of year – including inclement weather, shorter periods of daylight and students driving home after evening activities – State Farm hopes to help decrease the number of collisions and injuries.”
In one year, a 2016 study in rural southwest Virginia recorded 1,837 cases of road kill including 1,415 mammals, 188 birds, 105 reptiles, 122 domestic animals and seven frogs. Overall, 64 different species were counted.
Tennessee resides in the middle where there is a 1 in 123 chance of striking an animal. Our state is a medium-risk state for animal collisions. TN ranks No. 32.
On the opposite side of the country, a similar study of animal collisions in Colorado in 2017 counted 1,242 animals killed on roads near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Mule deer were the most frequent victims; however, the study showed porcupines, owls, badgers and even a weasel were killed on highways in the area.
Officials use these types of studies to see if traffic diversions such as culverts or bridges over the most common areas where the animals were killed attempting to cross roads can help avoid collisions with vehicles.
Collisions with animals tend to occur more in the fall, according to the annual study of animal collisions by State Farm.
Top 5 Risk States