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 Sign and flashing lights, part of an animal detection warning system
Summary of Findings “By the Numbers” 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. 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.
WVCs are increasing compared to Total Crashes (Data Source: GES)
(Data Source: State Farm Insurance) Annual WVCs Estimated by Insurance Industry
Monthly Distribution of WVCs (Data Source: FARS, HSIS, GES) 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 JANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC Proportion of Collisions FARSHSISGES
Time-of-Day Distribution (Data Source: FARS, GES, HSIS) 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 01234567891011121314151617181920212223 Hour of Day Proportion of Collisions FARSGESHSIS
WVCs by Number of Lanes On Road (Data Source: GES). 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1234567 Number of Lanes Percent of Accidents WVCALL
Accident Distribution by Posted Speed Limit (Data Source: GES). 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 51015202530354045505560657075 Speed Limit Proportion of Accidents ALL WVC
Crashes by Average Daily Traffic (Data Source: HSIS) 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 1 to 5000 5001- 10,000 10,001- 15,000 15,001- 20,000 20,001- 25,000 25,001- 30,000 30,001- 35,000 >35,000 ADT Proportion of Collisions ALLWVC
Severity of Injury Distribution for WVCs vs. All Crashes (Data Source: GES). WVCs Only 1.7% 0.5% 2.3% 95.4% 0.04% None Possible Minor Severe Fatal All Collisions 68.3% 17.6% 9.4% 4.3% 0.5% None Possible Minor Severe Fatal
Age Distribution for All Crashes and WVCs (Data Source: HSIS). 0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 1112131415161718191 Driver Age Proportion of Collisions All WVC
Up to $8 billion annually. Injury, property damage, crash scene response and investigation. Estimated Costs of WVC
Animal Species Involved in Collisions California Maine 54.4% 14.9% 20.4% 10.3% DEER LIVESTOCK OTHER ANIMAL NON-ANIMAL (Data Source: HSIS). 81.2% 15.1% 0.6% 3.1% DEER MOOSE BEAR OTHER SPECIES
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 Direct road mortality is the major threat or among the major threats to survival probability….
Mitigation Measures Shown to be Effective Wildlife fencing Underpasses and overpasses with fencing
Wildlife Fencing Wildlife fencing along US Hwy. 93 on Flathead Indian Reservation, MT 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 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 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 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 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
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 Speed Bumps Used to Reduce WVCs in Australia Roadkill by Posted Speed Limit in Yellowstone National Park 0 5 10 15 20 152535404555 Posted Speed Roadkill per Mile ( Data Source: Gunther et al. 1998).
Mitigation measure Cost ($ /km /yr)) % DVC Reducti on Benefit ($ /km /yr)) Balance ($ /km /yr)) Standard warning signs$180%$0-$18 Anti-fertility treatment$61,70250%$20,970-$40,732 Long bridges$781,250100%$41,940-$739,310 Long tunnels or long bridges$1,500,000100%$41,940-$1,458,060 Animal detection systems (ADS) $31,30082%$34,391$3,091 Population culling$2,50850%$20,970$18,462 Relocation$10,26050%$20,970$10,710 Fence (incl. dig barrier)$3,76087%$36,488$32,728 Fence with gap and crosswalk$5,58540%$16,776$11,191 Fence with gap and ADS$9,93082%$34,391$24,461 Fence with underpasses$5,86087%$36,488$30,628 Fence with overpasses$26,48587%$36,488$10,003 Fence with under- and overpasses $7,51087%$36,488$28,978
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 WVC training manual WVC training course
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