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Pennsylvania: #1 For Deer Crashes

Jennifer Smith

Posted on July 26 2018

Pennsylvania is the No. 1 state in the country for animal-related crashes, while Pittsburgh ranks No. 4 among U.S. cities, according to a recent study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau .

The NICB studied animal-related insurance losses for 2014-2017 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Personal auto crashes accounted for 97 percent of the losses.

Deer were, by far, the most common animal to be struck by vehicles, followed by raccoons, dogs, turkeys and coyotes.

Pennsylvania had the most animal loss claims (145,728) for 2014-2017, followed by New York, Texas, Wisconsin and North Carolina, according to the study.

Pittsburgh had the fourth-most animal loss claims (2,115) for the same time period.

Among Pennsylvania municipalities, Pittsburgh had the most animal loss claims (538) in 2017, according to LehighValleyLive.com .

Other top-ranking municipalities in southwestern Pennsylvania were Butler (248), Indiana (173), Washington (155), Johnstown (154), Greensburg (134), Somerset (132) and Ligonier (90).

A county-by-county crash analysis by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for 2012-2016 put Allegheny County at the top, with 909 deer crashes. Westmoreland County ranked fourth, with 667 deer crashes.

Under Pennsylvania state law, crashes involving deer are considered not-at-fault accidents, and insurance companies cannot add a surcharge to a policyholder’s premium as a result.

October, November and December have the highest rates of accidents involving deer in Pennsylvania, mostly because of deer mating season and the end of daylight saving time, according to the department.

The end of daylight saving time in early November increases the incidence of deer crashes because drivers are making their daily commutes during the hours that deer are most active — at dawn and dusk.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer.