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Wildlife Vehicle Collision Reduction Study. Why this Study. Advance the understanding of the causes and impacts of wildlife vehicle collisions Review methods to reduce collisions between motor vehicles and wildlife Describe solutions to this growing safety problem. Goals of the Study.

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goals of the study
Advance the understanding of the causes and impacts of wildlife vehicle collisions

Review methods to reduce collisions between motor vehicles and wildlife

Describe solutions to this growing safety problem

Goals of the Study

Sign and flashing lights, part of an animal detection warning system

summary of findings by the numbers
Summary of Findings“By the Numbers”
  • An estimated 200 people die each year from WVCs.
  • 89% of WVCs occur on two-lane roads
  • WVCs occur more frequently in the early morning (5-9 a.m.) and evening (4 p.m. – midnight), when animals are more active.
  • An estimated one to two million WVCs with large animals occur annually in the US.
  • More than 98% of WVCs are single vehicle crashes.
  • The vast majority (as high as 90% in some states) of reported WVCs involve deer.
slide7

Annual WVCs Estimated by Insurance Industry

(Data Source: State Farm Insurance)

monthly distribution of wvcs
Monthly Distribution of WVCs

0.25

FARS

HSIS

GES

0.2

0.15

Proportion of Collisions

0.1

0.05

0

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

(Data Source: FARS, HSIS, GES)

slide9

0.12

Time-of-Day Distribution

FARS

GES

HSIS

0.1

0.08

Proportion of Collisions

0.06

0.04

0.02

0

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Hour of Day

(Data Source: FARS, GES, HSIS)

slide10

100%

WVC

ALL

WVCs by Number of Lanes

On Road

80%

60%

Percent of Accidents

40%

20%

0%

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Number of Lanes

(Data Source: GES).

slide11

0.6

ALL

Accident Distribution by Posted Speed Limit

0.5

WVC

0.4

Proportion of Accidents

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

Speed Limit

(Data Source: GES).

slide12

WVC

ALL

0.7

Crashes by Average Daily Traffic

0.6

0.5

0.4

Proportion of Collisions

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

1 to

5001-

10,001-

15,001-

20,001-

25,001-

30,001-

>35,000

5000

10,000

15,000

20,000

25,000

30,000

35,000

(Data Source: HSIS)

ADT

slide13

Severity of Injury Distribution for WVCs vs. All Crashes

All Collisions

WVCs Only

0.5%

0.5%

1.7%

4.3%

0.04%

2.3%

9.4%

None

None

Possible

Possible

17.6%

Minor

Minor

Severe

Severe

Fatal

Fatal

68.3%

95.4%

(Data Source: GES).

slide14

0.05

Age Distribution for All Crashes and WVCs

0.04

All

WVC

0.03

Proportion of Collisions

0.02

0.01

0

1

11

21

31

41

51

61

71

81

91

Driver Age

(Data Source: HSIS).

slide15
Up to $8 billion annually. Injury, property damage, crash scene response and investigation.

Estimated Costs of WVC

slide17

3.1%

0.6%

10.3%

15.1%

DEER

DEER

LIVESTOCK

MOOSE

20.4%

OTHER ANIMAL

BEAR

NON-ANIMAL

OTHER

SPECIES

Animal Species Involved in Collisions

14.9%

81.2%

54.4%

Maine

California

(Data Source: HSIS).

esa listed species impacted by wvc s
Mammals

Bighorn sheep peninsular California population

Key Deer,San Joaquin Kit Fox,Canada Lynx

Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit

Florida Panther,Red Wolf

Birds:

Audubon\'s Crested Caracara

Hawaiian Goose

Florida Scrub Jay

Herptiles

California Tiger Salamander

Flatwoods Salamander

Houston Toad

American Crocodile

Desert Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise

Alabama Red-bellied Turtle

Bog Turtle, northern population

Copperbelly Water Snake

Eastern Indigo Snake

ESA Listed Species Impacted by WVC’s

Direct road mortality is the major threat or among the major threats to survival probability….

mitigation measures shown to be effective
Mitigation Measures Shown to be Effective
  • Wildlife fencing
  • Underpasses and overpasses with fencing
wildlife fencing
Wildlife Fencing
  • Reported reductions in WVCs: 80-99%
  • Several types of material are used, page-wire or cyclone fence material most common
  • Electric fencing also possible
  • Maintenance is a major concern

Wildlife fencing along US Hwy. 93 on Flathead Indian Reservation, MT

wildlife crossing with fencing
Wildlife Crossing with Fencing
  • 87% average

reduction in WVCs

  • Used extensively by a wide array of species
  • Associated fencing
    • Keeps animals off the road
    • Funnels animals towards the crossing

New highway underpass with fencing

promising mitigation measures to be further investigated
Promising Mitigation Measures to be Further Investigated
  • Animal detection systems
  • Reduce speed by traffic calming or reducing the design speed
  • Seasonal wildlife warning signs
  • Reduce speed by reducing the posted speed limit
  • Wildlife crossing guards
  • Large, non-standard wildlife warning signs
  • Reduce traffic volume on road networks
  • In-vehicle warnings: roadside animal detection system communicating with on-board computers
  • In-vehicle warnings: on-board animal detectors
  • Roadway lighting to increase visibility
promising mitigation measures to be further investigated23
Promising Mitigation Measures, to be Further Investigated
  • Increasing visibility through vegetation removal
  • Stop the use of road salt or consider alternate deicers
  • Influence plant species in the roadside to limit forage values
  • Reduce population size through wildlife culling
  • Reduce population size through habitat alteration
  • Boulder barriers
  • Wider more reflective striping along white line
  • Expanded medians
animal detection systems
Animal Detection Systems
  • Systems use sensors to detect large animals that approach the road
  • Warning signals are activated to inform drivers a large animal may be on/near the road
  • Warning signals are extremely time specific – short duration
  • Two major types: area-cover and break-the-beam systems
  • 82% reduction in WVCs reported in Switzerland

Experimental animal detection

system in Yellowstone NP

slide25
Long Tunnels and Long Bridges
  • ~ 100% effective in WVC reductions, but very expensive
  • At least 200-300 hundred feet long, sometimes longer
  • Allow unhindered animal movements at major connectivity points

Long bridge on Arizona SR260

reduce speed by traffic calming reducing design speed
Reduce Speed by Traffic Calming, Reducing Design Speed

Roadkill by Posted Speed Limit in Yellowstone National Park

20

15

10

Roadkill per Mile

5

0

15

25

35

40

45

55

Posted Speed

(Data Source: Gunther et al. 1998).

Speed Bumps Used to Reduce WVCs in Australia

ineffective or questionable measures to reduce wvc s
Ineffective or Questionable Measures to reduce WVC’s
  • Standard wildlife warning signs
  • Deer reflectors and mirrors
  • Audio signals in the right-of-way or deer whistles on vehicles
  • Olfactory repellants
  • Deer flagging models
  • Hazing
  • Intercept feeding
  • Wildlife relocation in order to reduce population size
  • Anti-fertility treatment in order to reduce population size
  • Seasonal road closures
  • Reflective collars placed on wildlife
next steps
Next steps
  • WVC training manual
  • WVC training course
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