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Highway Safety & Wildlife: A National Perspective October 24-25, 2005 Patrick Hasson National Technical Service Team Leader Safety and Design FHWA Tel:

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Presentation on theme: "Highway Safety & Wildlife: A National Perspective October 24-25, 2005 Patrick Hasson National Technical Service Team Leader Safety and Design FHWA Tel:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Highway Safety & Wildlife: A National Perspective October 24-25, 2005 Patrick Hasson National Technical Service Team Leader Safety and Design FHWA Tel:

2 What you will hear… National Statistics for Wildlife-Vehicle Crashes (WVC) WVC Elements in New Legislation Information on some safety initiatives that could make a difference

3 Framing the Issue in a National Context 2003 Nationwide Highway-Related Crashes and Fatalities 1 Overall: 6,289,000 crashes resulting in 2,889,000 injuries and 42,884 fatalities. WVC: 315,000 crashes (5 % of total) WVC: 10,000 injuries (1% of total) WVC: 200 fatalities (1/2 % of total). 1. USDOT NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2003 Believed to be under-reported by 50% or higher.

4 WVC Trends Centers for Disease Control Analysis of WVC Statistics 2 Crashes and injuries occurred more often during –October and November and –Dusk/night/dawn conditions 87% of were DVC type 45% of DVC crashes resulted in some type of lane departure maneuver 2. CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report 2004 Volume 53 Pgs

5 Data Needs to Improve Consistency across and within States is lacking Thriving wildlife and growing VMT WVC is a growing problem

6 Growing Problem? WVC Fatalities increased 45% from 1994 – 2003 (IIHS) 54% Increase from 1994 to 2000 in PA 51% increase from 1990 – 2000 in IA 69% increase in five states (combined) from 1985 to 1991.

7 Importance of the Issue Safety Economic Environmental Wildlife- Vehicle Crashes

8 Setting the Highway Safety Agenda: The Federal Role Reauthorization - Funding and Prioritization Federal Government legislative multiyear “plan of action” Provides National Programmatic Guidance and Appropriation Assignment Newest Law (signed by President Bush on 08/10/2005):

9 WVC and SAFETEA-LU At least 4 WVC-related activities included in new legislation 1. Section 1119(n): Wildlife- Vehicle Collision Reduction Study Determine causes of WVC; assess impacts of WVC; evaluate solutions for prevention of WVC Best-practices manual with guidance on developing a WVC prevention action plan

10 WVC and SAFETEA-LU 2. Section 1122(K)(ii):Transportation Enhancement Activity Amends 23CFR 101(a)(35) to make eligible enhancements that “reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity”

11 WVC and SAFETEA-LU 3.Section 1401(3)(B)(xviii) –Highway Safety Improvement Project eligibility includes “addition or retrofitting of structures or other measures to eliminate or reduce accidents involving vehicles and wildlife” 4.High Priority Project #1941 $200K Deer Avoidance System to be implemented on Interstate 90 (MP PA to MP NY)

12 Additional WVC National Efforts Research will Play an Important Role NCHRP Synthesis “Animal-Vehicle Collision Data Collection”

13 Public Perception

14 Interdisciplinary Strategies The Roadways (Highway Engineering) The Animals (Environmental Stewardship) The Drivers (Education and Enforcement) The Vehicles (Automotive Engineering)

15 What else do we know? 12 to 35% of all reported crashes on rural, 2-Lane roads involve animals. (GAO, 2004) Centers for Disease Control on WVC: 54% involve collision with animal 45% involve avoiding animal “Don’t Veer for Deer” (Michigan)

16 “Avoiding the Animal” Crashes

17 Highway Safety Engineering “Science of Safety” Conventional PD Process Improved Process

18 Implementing Safety Improvements Current Best-Practices & Technologies Can Address the Problem – Directly and Indirectly Adopting AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan Strategies Implementing Low-Cost Safety Improvements Applying the principles of Context Sensitive Solutions

19 AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan Strategies 22 Goals Selected to Significantly Reduce Highway Crash Fatalities Run Off Road Emphasis Area –Goal 15: Keeping Vehicles on the Roadway –Goal 16: Minimizing Consequences of Leaving Roadway

20 Measurable Benefits to Managing the Roadside 1 1. All tables excerpted from NCHRP 500 Volume 6: A Guide for Addressing Run-Off-Road Collisions

21 Low Cost Safety Improvements STEEP SIDESLOPE “BLIND” CURVE ADDED CHEVRONS ADDED GUARDRAIL

22 Low Cost Safety Improvements HIGH TREE DENSITY LACK OF SHOULDERS ADDED STABILIZED SHOULDERS TREE REMOVAL & DELINEATION

23 Low Cost Safety Improvements HIGH TREE DENSITY LACK OF SHOULDERS ADDED STABILIZED SHOULDERS TREE REMOVAL & IMPROVED SIGHTLINES

24 Low Cost Safety Improvements HIGH VEGETATION DENSITY BRUSH CLEARING & IMPROVED SIGHTLINES

25 LCSI: The Safety Edge Eliminates the vertical edge drop-off Applies a 30°-35° asphalt fillet to the edge of the roadway Minimal added cost (<1% overall)

26 Context Sensitive Solutions - Success Stories From Arizona DOT 1. Story excerpted from FHWA Office of Environment website: 2. Photo credit to Doug Klassen’s “Forty Years on Two Wheels” internet web log

27 Context Sensitive Solutions - Success Stories From Arizona DOT 1. Story excerpted from FHWA Office of Environment website: 2. Photo credit to Doug Klassen’s “Forty Years on Two Wheels” internet web log

28 The Next Step Tailoring Existing Safety Solutions to a Growing Problem SAFETEA-LU: Improve data quality and knowledge of best practices Safety Best Practices: Have a Positive Impact on Reducing Severity and Number of WVC Research: Finding solutions that balances resources (interdisciplinary).

29 Patrick Hasson Tel:


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