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Motorcyclists are already exposed to more dangers than automobile drivers. The chances of something happening during a collision are significant without an enclosure providing extra protection.

When that accident happens when a deer is on the road, multiple risk factors contribute to severe injuries and fatalities. From the speed of the impact to the animal’s actions, there are numerous ways to get hurt.

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Since the fall season tends to be when deer are the most active, reviewing the data in this area is a good idea to ensure you’re prepared. These animals might wander in autumn, but they can get in your way any day of the week.

However,

You might experience a substantial financial loss for the rider’s injury and damage to your bike by hitting a deer with motorcycle, so ensure you have the right insurance coverage.

How Many People Hit Deer with a Motorcycle?

  1. In the last year data was released in Wisconsin, there were 211 accidents involving motorcycles and deer. Out of those crashes, there were 66 serious injuries and six deaths. (WI DOT)
  2. The average insurance claim for an animal strike is about $800 lower than it is for the average collision accident. Costs were $2,730 when hitting a deer compared to $3,510 for other vehicles. (Insurance Information Institute)
  3. The highest claim periods for striking deer in the United States are directly related to the mating season when bucks roam. (Insurance Information Institute)
  4. About 1.2 million deer-vehicle collisions occur in the United States each year, and 70% of the fatalities that occur involve motorcycles. (AAA)
  5. The average motorcyclist has a 1 in 100 chance of hitting a deer while riding. (Washington Post)
  6. In Washington State, motorcyclists account for only 3% of the vehicles on the road, but they represent 19% of the severe injuries and 15% of the fatalities that occur. (WA Traffic Safety Commission)
  7. Between 1991 and 2012, motorcyclists hitting deer represented 6% of rider deaths tracked during that year in Minnesota. (MN Department of Public Safety)
  8. The most common time for motorcycle-deer collisions is between the hours of 6-9 PM. (Consumer Reports)
  9. Two-thirds of all animal collisions each year involve deer. (Insurance Information Institute)
  10. West Virginia has consistently ranked the top state in the country where deer strikes occur. Riders are three times more likely to be involved in a collision in WV than in most other locations. (WV News)

What Can Be Done to Stop Motorcycles Striking Deer?

The best way to avoid striking a deer while riding a motorcycle is to take a cautious approach. If you know that you’re navigating a road with a high animal population, travel at speeds that give you enough stopping time.

bunch of deer disturbing riders on road

Even though a helmet or other safety gear might feel uncomfortable, these items are designed to save your life. They won’t do any good if they’re left at home.

Then think as a hunter would while riding. There might be deer if you see gullies, ditches, or thick brush that provides cover.

Finally, practice emergency stops. If you’re uncomfortable covering the front brake, consider enrolling in a training course to improve your skills. When you have a plan to react, it will be easier to move quickly if a deer gets in your way.

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Author

Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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