UK CMA  Insurance meeting , Milton Keynes, 2006
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UK CMA Insurance meeting , Milton Keynes, 2006. Deer–Vehicle Collisions in the UK : A nationwide issue Dr Jochen Langbein. P r e l i m i n a r y f i n d i n g s. Public / Media in UK still mostly view Animal-Vehicle collisions as ” Freak accidents ”.

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UK CMA Insurance meeting , Milton Keynes, 2006

Deer–Vehicle Collisions in the UK : A nationwide issue

Dr Jochen Langbein

P r e l i m i n a r y f i n d i n g s

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Public / Media in UK still mostly view

Animal-Vehicle collisions as

”Freak accidents”

“Biker dies in freak collision on A24” – West Sussex- BBC News 4 June 2006

DRIVER KILLED BY FLYING DEER ….in “freak” accident on A35, Hampshire (Daily Mirror 28 / 11 / 2006)

yet general estimates suggest that wild large mammals killed on roads in Britain every year include around :

  • 100,000 Foxes ;

  • 50,000 Badgers

  • 45,000 Deer

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  • In Unites States Deer-Vehicle Collisions are now widely recognised as a major Insurance risk

    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report for 2005 estimates :

    • 1,500,000 deer-vehicle collisions per annum in US

    • 150 human fatalities

    • $1.1 billion in property damage

  • State FarmInsurance alone showed 192,877 deer-related motor claims last year; up 6% (10,000) on previous 12 month period

    - The top ten ranked States contributed 51% of claims

    - and here DVCs make up 5% - 17% of all motor crash claims !

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Where figures ARE available for European countries also suggest

  • Over 500,000 collisions with ungulates in Europe (excluding Russia) ever year

  • Resulting in 300 people killed

  • 30,000 people injured

  • $ 1,000,000,000 material damage

(based on Road Kill data from 8 countries with available records

Including among others :

Germany :120,000 roe; 6500 wild boar; 2800 red & fallow;

Sweden:50,000 roe; 4000 moose;

Austria:35,000 roe; 400 red deer ; 150 boar

Denmark:10,000 roe; 100 red deer

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  • Deer-Collisions Project 2003-2007 - main aims : suggest

    • to build for the first time a National Database of Road Traffic Collisions involving Deer in Britain

    • assess accident factors, and related aspects of deer behaviour and management

    • identify accident hot-spots

    • Initiate studies of effectiveness of differing measures aimed at preventing such accidents

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DVC records received suggest

(those reported to the project are still likely to represent <20% of all DVCs occurring; level of duplicate reporting of incidents on same date / county is < 5%)

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Please report ALL Deer/Vehicle collisions suggest

or dead deer seen at roadsides

between 2003 to 2007

either on-line to:


[email protected]

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Only 18% of all Deer Collisions reported are in Scotland ... suggest

BUT occur within <10% of all traffic; therefore ‘risk’ of hitting a deer per mile driven doubles !

Total 16,519 DVC records 2003-5 plotted

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Relative frequency of recorded DVCs in 2003+2004 in southern England; replotted at finer scale for nos. incidents per 5 km by 5 km OS grid square.

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Motor Claims southern

Fortis ‘deer’ related claims 1999 to 2004

  • Fortis Ins. Ltd

  • 4.25 % market share

  • c. 1.3 Million private policies

  • For 2003 + 2004 :

  • Tot claims 252,709

    which included:

  • 776 with Deer (0.31 %)

  • 167 with Foxes

  • 123 with Badgers

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Likely number of significantly southern damaged vehicles (i.e. above Insurance excess)

Using sample from Fortis Group Insurance claims data

(i.e. based on claims arising from their c. 1.3 million private motor polices , equiv. to c. 4.25 % market share)

for extrapolation to Great Britain suggests approx:


‘deer-related’ motor claims per year

@ avg. cost £1320 = £ 13.9 Million in GB

of which c. 18.5 % in Scotland = 2.57 M

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Among c. 45,000 deer injured or killed in vehicle collisions, near 500 of these lead to human injury in the UK every year. Cost to Economy?

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collisions, near 500 of these lead to human injury in the UK every year. Deer Collisions contribute around 50% of all human injury RTAs involving ‘wild’ mammals; and around 23% overall among all animal (wild or domestic) related vehicle accidents.(Sample data for PIAs from 14 English Counties in 1999-2003)

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Average ‘Value of Prevention’ collisions, near 500 of these lead to human injury in the UK every year.

per Injury accident by severity

(UK Highways Economic Note 1: 2003 values)

  • Fatal accident : £ 1,492,000

  • Seriously Injured: £ 174,500

  • Slightly injured: £ 17,500

    Ave. per PIA incident: £ 61,120

Value of Prevention of animal related human injury RTAs

(@ mean £61,000 per incident)

c. 500 with Deer alone = > £ 30, 000, 000 per annum

All Animal related = > £ 130 Million per annum

Personal injury RTAs

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Summary Deer RTA “Costs” collisions, near 500 of these lead to human injury in the UK every year.

  • Animal Welfare –

    Deer Killed / Injured c. 46,000 (+/- 9000),

  • Vehicle damage(conservative estimate from private policies)

    c. £ 14 Million in GB

  • Human Injuries …

    c. 500 per annum @ economic cost > £ 30 M

  • Other cost include

    Live injured deer dispatch / rescue

    Carcass collection / disposal

    Traffic delays

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How can Insurers help ? collisions, near 500 of these lead to human injury in the UK every year.

  • Insurance sector is potentially the Key source for provision of well stratified information on true scale , distribution and costs;

    - but so far have good info from only one company.

  • Insurance, taken together with ST19 human injury monitoring, presents most promising manner for consistent long term monitoring of changes

    - but we need to extend sample to wider range of companies

  • Only basic records are needed per incident:

    • Date

    • Location (road number / county / nearest town or village / grid?),

    • Briefdescription (one line, if available ; e.g. Insured swerved to avoid deer, hit tree).

  • If not possible to retrieve ‘deer’ incidents from claims database – then even total number of ‘animal related’ motor claims per year are also of interest.

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    Insurers may also be able to help raise public awareness of the risk of deer-vehicle collisions and how to avoid them

    e.g. : Advice Drivers to

    Take note of signs !

    Beware that deer often travel in groups

    Heightened risk in areas through or near to woodland.

    Highest risk times dusk to midnight, and around dawn

    Also DVCs peak during May and October to December

    Don’t overswerve to avoid

    Dip main beam if deer on road ahead to avoid them ‘freezing’

    Further details see / avoidance