CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A recent study from State Farm has found that West Virginia drivers ranked 17th in the nation for the number of animal collisions claimed.

According to their research, from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, West Virginia had just over 31,000 estimated animal collision claims filed. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania took first place with over 155,000 animal collision claims.

Despite only being 17th in collision claims, the study said that West Virginia was the riskiest state for an animal collision with a 1 in 35 chance. Overall, deer collisions were most responsible, but other animals have caused accidents like dogs, cats, farm animals and rodents, most of which occur from October to December.

Research said that the insurance industry paid nationally for an estimated 1.9 million animal collisions from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, a 5.5% decrease from last year.

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.

After-crash tips

  • 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 be 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 hazard.
  • Contact your insurance company: Quickly file your insurance claim