STATEMENT: PA tops national list for animal-vehicle collisions claims, new data shows

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Deer and egrets at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Deer and egrets at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Photo by Ron Holms/USFWS via Flickr | Public Domain

Wildlife corridors offer a solution to reduce auto run-ins with animals

PHILADELPHIA, PA  – New data released this week by State Farm Insurance Company ranked Pennsylvania No. 1 in the nation for the number of auto insurance claims filed for animal-vehicle collisions. The data comes from the largest insurer of automobiles in the U.S. and includes vehicular insurance claims filed between July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.  All told, 1.8 million auto insurance claims involving animal collisions were filed across the nation during that time frame, 153,397 of which were in Pennsylvania. The data also ranked the Keystone State third overall for likelihood of colliding with an animal, with a 1 in 59 chance of a driver getting into an accident with wildlife. Only West Virginia and Montana ranked higher.

PennEnvironment’s Conservation Advocate Stephanie Wein issued the following statement:

“These numbers are stark, but not probably not surprising for Pennsylvania residents from across the state who’ve been involved in a wildlife-vehicular collision. We know the bleak reality is that every year thousands of animals, including deer, bear, elk, game bird and turtles are killed on Pennsylvania’s roads. This endangers both drivers and Pennsylvania’s native wildlife species.  This data also highlights the urgency of investing in wildlife corridors across Pennsylvania as a proven solution for helping to avoid wildlife-vehicular collisions.

As State Farm’s data shows, Pennsylvanians are disproportionately impacted by animal-automobile collisions. The good news is that evidence-based solutions are within reach. Legislators took an important step in the right direction this spring when the State House passed House Resolution 87, a bipartisan measure directing the state to study how wildlife corridors can best be utilized to protect critical animal habitats and keep Pennsylvania’s wildlife off our roads.  

This is more important than ever, since there is currently an unprecedented opportunity to tap into federal money to pay for wildlife corridors in Pennsylvania,  as the U.S. Federal Highway Administration rolls out a new five-year, $350 million competitive grant program to fund wildlife crossings.”

Representatives Mary Jo Daley (D – Montgomery County) & Jason Ortitay (R – Allegheny, Westmoreland County), authors of HR 87, shared the following remarks:

“Pennsylvania is a destination for many seeking to take advantage of its vast recreational opportunities,” said Rep. Daley, Chair of the Pennsylvania House Tourism, Recreation & Economic Development Committee.  “By limiting vehicle-wildlife collisions, these corridors make the roads people take to get here safer while nourishing the flora and fauna that people travel to see.”

“With Pennsylvania being the top state for animal vehicle collisions, it shows the importance of HR 87 and of continuing to make every effort to reduce these incidents,” added Rep Ortitay.Creating wildlife corridors are a great way to help accomplish that goal.”