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State rankings for animal-vehicle collisions

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Animals in the road can be a big problem for drivers in Pennsylvania. Every year, there are people killed in car accidents because they struck an animal or swerved to try to avoid striking an animal. In many cases, drivers collide with other cars on the road after an animal gets in their path.

How Pennsylvania ranks in animal collisions

Compared to all 50 states, Pennsylvania is ranked at No. 20 for deaths caused by animal-vehicle collisions. Researchers say that looking at deaths, not accidents, is the best way to determine the riskiest states for animal collisions. This is because drivers often don’t report non-fatal collisions with animals, so the data on non-fatal animal collisions is likely inaccurate.

The worst states for animal collisions

Not surprisingly, the top states for fatal animal collisions are states that have relatively small populations and a lot of rural areas. The top five worst states for fatal animal collisions are:

  1. Montana
  2. South Dakota
  3. Alaska
  4. Wyoming
  5. Wisconsin

It’s more than just deer

Many people have had the experience of seeing a deer suddenly run past their windshield. While deer account for the vast majority of animal collisions, other species can also create a lot of driving hazards. For example, moose caused 12% of all car accidents that happened in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2011. Even small animals like birds and squirrels can cause car accidents when they distract a driver in heavy traffic.

How big is the problem?

According to the Federal Highway Administration, animals cause around 1 to 2 million car accidents each year in the U.S. In Pennsylvania, there is an average of 9.7 deaths from animal-caused car accidents for every million cars on the road.

If another driver caused a car crash that you were involved in, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. A personal injury lawyer may help investigate the cause of the crash and identify the liable parties, such as if another driver braked for an animal and caused other cars to pile up in a crash.