What Color Car Do Deer Hit Most

What Color Car Do Deer Hit Most

Deer are the only animals on earth that grow antlers, which are the fastest-growing living tissue. Any creature with this feature is a member of the Cervidae family, or the growths on their head are not antlers.

Growing antlers is excellent for self-defense, but not against everything. What color car do deer hit most?

Deer hit black cars the most only because statistically black cars get into the most accidents. Researchers have found that deer can see colors however they can’t see shades of red, orange, or yellow very well. It is easier for them to see blue and green wavelength colors. Deer are not attracted to or afraid of any particular color.

What Color Car Hits The Most Deer

Black cars get in the most accidents, so they are the most likely to hit a deer.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, “…from October through December, there is a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population. Many of these deer find their way onto highways and into suburban neighborhoods. As a result, more deer-vehicle collisions occur in this period than at any other time of year.”

From July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, almost two million people made insurance claims for car accidents involving wildlife.

While there’s no exact species data, we know that the majority of these cases involved deer. If that number is even 25 percent of all the animals, almost half a million people hit deer in their vehicles in two years.

The average chance for a US driver to get in a collision with an animal each year is around 1 in 116. However, the probability of it being a deer vary by region.

For example, Hawaiians only have a 1 in 649 chance of hitting an animal and only one deer species on the islands.

Meanwhile, if you live in West Virginia, you have a one-in-thirty-seven chance of having a run-in with wildlife literally.

Considering hunters take over a hundred thousand white-tailed deer annually and the population isn’t endangered, there are a lot of deer, and the chances you’ll hit one of them instead of some other animal are pretty high.

The least likely car colors to hit deer are green, beige, orange, gold, yellow, and purple. Intriguingly, this has nothing to do with the deer but rather the popularity of the car colors.

People are less likely to be driving cars in these colors. Naturally, that means far fewer accidents are reported for these paint colors, which could help with your insurance rates but won’t change the location or frequency of deer crossings.

Are Deer Attracted To Certain Color Cars

Deer are not particularly attracted to any particular car color. Black cars are the most dangerous on the roads, but how often they hit deer have more to do with driver error than the deer.

The animals are present regardless of car color or location. Resultantly, your best bet for avoiding a collision with a deer is to drive safely.

Researchers have found that deer can see colors, though they don’t experience them in the same way we do.

They can pick out short (blue) and middle (green) wavelength colors, but they’re less sensitive to long-wavelength colors such as red and orange.

Although a deer may not see the color of your car, they will still hear and smell the car a long way off. Moreover, not perceiving the color doesn’t mean your car is invisible.

More likely, they see the car as a greyish or bluish color instead because of their eyesight. Just as humans who are colorblind still see objects, so do deer.

What Colors Are Deer Afraid Of

Deer are not naturally afraid of colors. They are more likely to perceive sounds or smells as a threat. However, their eyesight is adapted to see blues and greens the best.

Although deer cannot differentiate shades as well as humans can, they see into the UV spectrum well, so deer are probably looking at the world in colors we can’t perceive at all.

It’s hard to tell what that looks like for them, but it’s not scary.

Deer have many natural fears related to predators. Seeing a hunter or predator shape is worrisome to these shy creatures, but Cervids don’t care what color your skin, fur, or cars come in as long as you let them forage in peace.

What Color Can Deer Not See

Deer cannot see shades of red, orange, or yellow very well. Hunters in brightly colored safety orange jackets are no more visible to them than hunters in grey shirts.

Those colors likely look like dull hues in their available spectrum for the deer, so blues, greens, and greys.

A deer can tell that red and blue are different, but greens and oranges look the same as those reds to the animal. In short, they are functionally red-green colorblind.

It’s possible that the glasses that let colorblind humans see colors could also help deer if adapted.

However, there’s no way to implement that idea functionally, testing would be complex, and there’s no reason deer need to see outside their typical spectrum.

Helpful Tips To Know About The Color Car Deer Hit Most

Deer understand the danger, but they probably can’t comprehend the relative speeds of cars, so they get hit often. The car’s color doing the hitting doesn’t matter except that specific car colors are more common.

Here are more helpful tips to know about the color car that deer hit most.

  • Around 180 people per year die in car accidents with deer. However, significantly fewer deer die from those same accidents. You are in more danger than the animal if you crash, though it won’t go well for either of you.
  • If you drive a black, white, grey, blue, or green car, the deer knows its color, but any other color is iffy at best. Deer’s eyes don’t have the necessary rods and cones for red and yellow spectrum colors.
  • The best way to avoid a collision with moving deer ahead is either to stop or slow down and not swerve. The deer is going to keep moving forward most of the time. However, there’s a very real and dangerous chance it could stop and stare at your lights instead, so ultimately, going slow in areas with deer and paying close attention to your surroundings is the wisest option.

Final Thoughts

Deer are only sometimes able to see the color of cars they hit. The only time deer care about cars is when they are right next to them.

Unfortunately, since your car doesn’t smell like a dangerous animal, a deer with no road experience will not think much about it.

The speeds we travel in vehicles are often well beyond a deer’s ability to run or understand.

Most importantly, your chances of hitting a deer are the same regardless of the color of your car because the only important factor is where you are driving, luck, and your skill behind the wheel.

Ted Smith

My name is Ted Smith and I’m the creator of AnimalThrill.com. I have a passion for educating people about animals and wildlife. I have been working with the National Wildlife Federation for the past 10 years and I became a wildlife blogger to help people become excited about animals and encouraged to care for these wonderful creatures.

Recent Posts