Every year, there are about 1.5 million deer-related car accidents worldwide. Deer accidents statistics show that they’re most common from October through December — the deer mating season.
Throughout history, the number of deer accidents has been rising and falling. We’ve made a list of the most important statistics and facts to show you the leading cause of these accidents and how to prevent them.
But first, take a look at some of the most important figures:
What Are the Top 10 Most Striking Deer Facts and Statistics
- There are 200 fatalities and over 10,000 injuries yearly by deer accidents.
- The odds of hitting a deer with a car in the US are 1 in 116.
- West Virginia has been a leader in deer accidents for 12 consecutive years.
- Deer kill approximately 120 people a year.
- About 80% of the hunting population hunts big game.
- The cost of deer-related accidents rose from $162 to $4,314 in just one year.
- Hunters kill approximately 6 million whitetail deer every year.
- The average lifespan of a whitetail deer living in the wild is 4.5 years.
- Every year, deer travel approximately 3,000 miles.
- Some deer herds can have 100,000 members.
Keep scrolling to discover more interesting stats on this lovely animal species, their habitat, herds, behavior, physical features, and more.
Deer Accidents Statistics
In recent years, there has been an increase in deer-related accidents. There are two main reasons for this.
One of them is the increase in the deer population. And the other is the destruction of their habitat, mainly caused by land clearing to build new roads.
Paying attention to deer crossing signs, using high beams, and slowing down may help decrease the number of deer-vehicle collisions and save both human and deer lives.
1. Deer car accidents statistics reveal that the highest chances for a deer accident are in the fall, between 6 PM and 9 PM, and at dawn.
We’ve already mentioned that fall is the season when deer are the most active. But during this season, they’re most active at dawn and in the evening.
However, this doesn’t mean that deer accidents can’t happen at other times or seasons. You should always be careful. By being careful, you may avoid contributing to deer accidents statistics.
2. On average, there are between 175 and 200 fatalities and over 10,000 injuries every year caused by deer accidents.
(Culture of Safety)
The primary reason for this is that people don’t know how to react in these situations.
In every potential animal-vehicle collision, the drivers’ first instinct is to swerve and avoid injuring or even killing the animal. Especially if they think the animal could belong to endangered species.
However, deer facts show that the best thing to do is slow down as much as possible and hit the deer. Swerving could cause a collision with another car and kill you or confuse the deer that wants to run away.
3. The odds of hitting a deer with a car in the US are 1 in 116.
Every year, American drivers hit 1.9 million animals, including deer. However, deer collision statistics from 2019 reveal that people also have:
- a one in 215 chance of dating a millionaire,
- one in 220 chance of writing a New York Times bestseller,
- one in 175 chance of being audited by the IRS,
- one in 250 chance of learning that their child is a genius, and a
- one in 563 chance of catching a ball at a Major League Baseball game.
4. West Virginia has been a leader in deer accidents for 12 consecutive years.
Some recent deer-vehicle collisions statistics by the state show that after a 7.5% decrease compared to previous years, the chances of a deer-vehicle accident in West Virginia are 1 in 46.
Keeping in mind that the Mountain State has a plentiful of forests and state parks rich in wildlife, this is not surprising.
5. From July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, there were 1.33 million deer-vehicle accidents.
The deer, elk, moose, and caribou-related accidents have dropped slightly compared to 1.34 million in 2017, as deer collision statistics for 2018 show.
Again, West Virginia was at the top of the list, with Montana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Iowa right behind. The majority of the accidents occurred during the deer mating season when deer were too distracted by looking for a mate to pay attention to the road.
6. Deer kill approximately 120 people a year.
The odds of being killed by an animal in the US are 1 in 1.4 million.
Even though every human life is precious, this number doesn’t sound scary. And deer attack statistics confirm that many of these deaths are caused by car accidents, not from wild deer attacking people.
Even though the number of deer-vehicle accidents has declined from 2017 to 2018, the cost of those accidents has seriously jumped. These costs are mainly related to the enormous damage a 300-pound grown buck can cause to a vehicle.
Other Deer Statistics
Unfortunately, the loss of habitat and vehicle accidents aren’t the only things deer go through. A significant number of deer are being poached and hunted for various reasons. Illegal poaching brings lots of money, and hunting brings trophies.
However, people who clear animal habitats to build roads and cities also often poach them to decrease their population because they can cause problems.
8. There are 30 million white-tailed deer in America.
This deer species can be found anywhere from southern Canada to South America. A hundred years ago, there were only 1 million of these deer in North America, as white tailed deer facts state.
Due to overhunting, the species was on the edge of extinction, but the government protection programs saved it.
9. Today, there are 100 white-tailed deer per kilometer.
The deer preservation programs have worked a bit too well. So, instead of the ideal number of 8 white-tailed deer per kilometer, there are now up to 100. The deer population has gone overboard, mainly because the species is very adaptable.
As deer population statistics report, deer have no natural predators. Populations of wolves, cougars, and grizzly bears, which would naturally feed on deer are now very low, and deer are actually used to grazing near suburbs.
10. Hunters kill approximately 6 million whitetail deer every year.
The hunting rates are actually decreasing, but still, millions of deer are killed every year. However, under ideal conditions, the deer population doubles every year.
Additionally, deer hunting facts report that there were 12 million fawns born after the last hunting season.
11. In 2018, hunters bought more than 15.6 million hunting licenses.
(Archery Trade Association)
Texas sold the most licenses (more than 1 million), while Rhode Island sold the fewest (8,000). However, these numbers don’t include hunters who get their licenses for free, like landowners, youths, or seniors. Some hunters even buy licenses in several states.
12. About 80% of the hunting population hunts big game, as the deer hunting statistics reveal.
(Archery Trade Association)
Deer is the most popular animal to hunt, with more than 8.1 million deer hunters annually. Furthermore, 2 million people hunt for wild turkeys, and elk and bear are also popular animals to hunt.
However, it’s impossible to determine the exact number of active hunters because the license requirements vary from state to state.
13. New York is the worst state for harvesting deer.
Deer harvest numbers by the state show that out of all the deer harvested in New York (224,190), 62.6% of them were bucks older than 2.5. Compared to previous years, there has been a 6.2% increase in buck harvesting.
14. In one of the biggest poaching cases in Wisconsin, 48 people from 11 states were charged for violating state laws.
Deer poaching statistics show that between 2002 and 2005, Adam Lee Lawinger of Blue River, from Wisconsin, organized illegal baiting, hunting, and killing deer for people with no hunting licenses.
Poaching participants were charged with violating several game and licensing laws.
Lawinger was ordered to pay $73,534 in fines and restitution. He was also sentenced to two years in prison. Finally, he was banned from hunting, fishing, and acting as a guide during the three years of supervised release.
Interesting Deer Facts
There are more than 50 subspecies of deer, like elk, moose, white-tail deer, caribou (reindeer), red deer, et cetera.
This adorable animal is native to Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and northern Africa. Moreover, people brought it to South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. One of the major deer characteristics is that almost every deer subspecies has antlers.
Deer usually live in forested and wooded areas, but they can also be found in tundra, marshlands, and grasslands. As facts about deer state, they can range from very small to enormous.
15. Weighing, on average, 1,800 pounds, moose or elk is the largest of the deer species.
(Just Fun Facts)
The moose can grow up to 6.5 feet from hoof to shoulder.
On the other side of the spectrum is the southern pudu deer that lives in Chile’s Valdivian Rainforest. According to some fun facts about deers, the smallest deer weighs only 20 pounds and is about 14 inches tall when fully grown.
16. The average lifespan of a whitetail deer living in the wild is 4.5 years.
(Grand View Outdoors)
The deer lifespan depends on several factors like hunting, poaching, unforeseen and extreme weather conditions, regional homeland, overlooked death threats, etc.
However, the majority of male deer (bucks) have an average lifespan of 2.9 years. Female deer (does) live more than twice as long as bucks. According to female deer facts, their average lifespan is 6.5 years.
17. Some deer kept in captivity have lived to 23 years.
(Grand View Outdoors)
There are some cases of deer kept in captivity that have lived well past two decades. However, this was only the case for does. Bucks would rarely make it past the 15-year mark. Scientists report that this gap in the lifespan is typical for all species, including humans.
18. Baby deer facts report that fawns weigh about 5 pounds at birth.
Baby fawns are usually born in May and June. Does often give birth to twins and triplets.
When born, fawns have a red fur coat with white spots, which helps them blend in with the forest. The spots start to fade when the fawn reaches five months and begins developing its winter coat.
19. Deer’s eyes give them a 310-degree vision.
(Just Fun Facts)
Whitetail deer facts reveal that deer have their eyes on the sides of their head. This makes it very difficult for them to focus on a single point.
However, they have excellent night vision, useful in dusk and dawn when they’re most active. Deer can also hear higher sound frequencies than people.
20. Every year, deer travel approximately 3,000 miles.
(Boredom Therapy, Powell’s Books)
Deer were practically born to walk. Not only can they pull sleighs, but they can also travel thousands of miles in search of food, so they can survive long and severe winters.
Some scary facts about deer also reveal that they can run at 30 mph, jump as far as 30 feet, and leap 10 feet high.
21. Some deer herds can have 100,000 members.
(Just Fun Facts)
One of the main deer behavior characteristics is that they’re very social animals. They travel in herds, and sometimes, bucks and does have their own separate herds.
In some cases, a whole herd of bucks could be looking after one doe, and reindeer can have up to 100,000 herd members.
22. Albino deer facts show that one in 20,000 deer is born as albino.
Albino deer are unique and rare. But Seneca Falls, New York, has numerous white deer populations because they have been protected for more than 60 years. This albino herd counts about 800 members. All albino animals lack pigment and have pink eyes because the blood vessels behind the lenses show through unpigmented irises, affecting their eyesight.
23. How many car crashes are caused by deer?
There are close to 1.5 million deer-caused car crashes annually, with most of them occurring in the Midwest. The number of deer-related car accidents has increased over the last few years due to the expansion in road building and the increase in the deer population.
24. How common is it to hit a deer?
Depending on where you live, you might have higher or lower chances of hitting an animal with a car. However, the average chances for experiencing an animal-vehicle accident are 1 in 116 in the US.
25. What animal causes the most car accidents?
In North America and Europe, deer are the most likely to cause car accidents and damage.
26. Where do deer sleep at night?
Deer usually sleep in grassy areas where they can’t be spotted easily, like bushes, tall grass, and dense foliage. In winter, they sleep under pine trees, which protects them from the weather.
Deer also don’t sleep throughout the whole night since they’re very cautious. They actually doze off for short periods, which helps them stay alert.
27. How far does a deer roam?
Typical deer home range (the place where they live) is one square mile. Furthermore, the core area (where they spend 75% to 80% of their time) is 50 to 75 acres. However, if they have no food, deer can travel for up to 3,000 miles in search of it.
28. Can deer sleep standing up?
Deer sleep lying down. But once every 30 minutes or so, they will stand up to stretch their legs and then go back to lying.
29. How often do deer travel the same path?
Deer usually use familiar areas unless there is some disruption like the lack of food, danger, land clearing, or something similar.
30. What time of day are most deer killed?
The majority of deer usually get killed when they’re most active – at sunrise and at dusk. This is not a rule, and many of them get killed at other times, too.
The Bottom Line
From these deer accidents statistics, we can see that, even though deer cause a number of accidents, they’re more in danger than humans. Building roads through or near deer habitats can undoubtedly lead to accidents, but there’s no reason to be alarmed.
Accidents can be avoided if you drive carefully, use your seatbelt, avoid deer-populated areas, and use your high-beams when you spot deer warning road signs.