Most of us have had a close call while driving in Minnesota. Deer in the road, an occasional bear and of course those suicidal squirrels that can't quite figure out if they want to cross the street or not.

I tend to be pretty paranoid about deer when driving, especially at dusk. Deer just jump right out in front of you and there's usually not a lot of time to react.

My step-son hit a good sized deer a few years ago that caused a lot of damage to the front end of his SUV. He got it fixed and ended up buying a new car only to have a another animal collision, this time with a coyote.

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So, how does Minnesota rank in odds of colliding with wildlife while driving?  Well, there's actually pretty good chance.

State Farm Insurance posed the question "Where are animal collisions most likely?" and state by state they figured the odds of colliding with an animal in each of the 50 states.

Minnesota showed up in the top 10 but just barely with the odds at 1 in 64.  We came in at #10. At the top of the list was West Virginia with the odds of hitting an animal at 1 in 37.

Top 10 States for Animal Collisions

1. West Virginia (1 in 37)
2. Montana (1 in 47)
3. Pennsylvania (1 in 51)
4. South Dakota (1 in 54)
5. Michigan (1 in 54)
6. Wisconsin (1 in 57)
7. Iowa (1 in 58)
8. Mississippi (1 in 59)
9. Wyoming (1 in 64)
10. Minnesota (1 in 64)

Collisions are most likely in the months of, ranked (in order) November, October and December.
"As dusk falls and visibility becomes more difficult, two deer bounded onto the busy road. It’s not an uncommon sight for many drivers, especially in October, November and December. New data shows U.S. drivers on the average have a 1 in 116 chance of a collision with an animal, according to the State Farm® annual study. The company estimates there were over 1.9 million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020."

Between 2016 and 2020 there were 7,247 deer collisions resulting in 18 deaths, in Minnesota, according to the State Patrol. 15 of the 18 were motorcyclists. There were 121 serious injuries and 105 of those were on motorcycles.

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