Preventing and Preparing for Animal vs. Vehicle Collisions

It’s Fall and that means it’s prime season for animal collisions for drivers. According to the newest State Farm® data, most animal-related crashes in the U.S. occur from October to December.

Roe Deer (capreolus Capreolus) On The Road.

While most collisions are with deer, many other animals followed closely behind such as dogs, cats, farm animals, and large rodents. 

For State Farm, Michigan drivers rank 2nd in the nation for the number of animal collisions claims, including deer, dogs, and farm animals. Michigan drivers have a 1 in 54 chance of colliding with an animal while driving. Michigan drivers had just over 132,385 animal collision claims filed from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Deer were responsible for an estimated 103,580 auto insurance claims, followed by “unidentified animals” (11,220) and finally raccoons by (3,460).             

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


To learn more about animal vs. vehicle collisions – click here.

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