Pennsylvania Leads Nation in Animal-Vehicle Collision Claims, New Data Reveals

CollisionImage via Pixabay

PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania has been ranked number one in the nation for the number of auto insurance claims filed for animal-vehicle collisions, according to new data released this week by State Farm Insurance Company. The report covers vehicular insurance claims filed from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

During this period, a total of 1.8 million auto insurance claims involving animal collisions were filed across the United States. Of these, 153,397 originated from Pennsylvania, placing the state at the top of the list. The Keystone State also ranked third overall for the likelihood of colliding with an animal, with a 1 in 59 chance of a driver getting into an accident with wildlife.

The data underscores the urgent need for wildlife corridors to help curb the high incidence of wildlife-vehicular collisions in the state. As stated by PennEnvironment’s Conservation Advocate Stephanie Wein, “These numbers are stark, but probably not surprising for Pennsylvania residents from across the state who’ve been involved in a wildlife-vehicular collision.”

Wein further explained that these collisions pose a significant threat to both drivers and Pennsylvania’s native wildlife species, including deer, bears, elk, game birds, and turtles. She emphasized the importance of investing in wildlife corridors across Pennsylvania as a proven solution to mitigate wildlife-vehicular collisions.

Earlier this year, 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 the roads.

Representatives Mary Jo Daley (D – Montgomery County) & Jason Ortitay (R – Allegheny, Westmoreland County), authors of HR 87, highlighted the significance of this resolution. Rep. Daley noted that by limiting vehicle-wildlife collisions, these corridors could make the roads safer while preserving the flora and fauna that attract many visitors to Pennsylvania. Rep Ortitay echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that the creation of wildlife corridors is crucial in reducing animal-vehicle collisions.

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration recently launched a five-year, $350 million competitive grant program to fund wildlife crossings. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for Pennsylvania to tap into federal money to establish wildlife corridors in the state.

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