Deer and Transportation Research
Factors affecting autumn deer–vehicle collisions in a rural Virginia county William J. McShea, Chad M. Stewart, Laura J. Kearns, Stefano Liccioli, David Kocka (2008) Human–Wildlife Interactions. Vol. 1, No. 1
Abstract: Vehicular collisions with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are a safety and economic hazard to motorists. Many efforts to reduce deer–vehicle collisions (DVCs) have proven unsuccessful, but deer reduction has been a primary management tool in several states. The Virginia Department of Transportation geo-located all known DVCs in Clarke County, Virginia, from August through December 2005 (n = 246) and 2006 (n = 259). We estimated harvest intensity, deer population density, amount of forest and housing development, presence of row crops, and trafﬁ c volume and speed for 228 road segments (each 500 m in length) within the county to determine which factors are correlated with increased DVCs. A step-wise general linear model indicated that deer density (range 5–47 deer/km2), and deer harvest levels (range 1–18 deer/km2 for 9-km2blocks) were not correlated with the location of DVCs. Road attributes (trafﬁc volume and road type) and the amount of housing development were important attributes of road segments when predicting DVCs. The locations of DVCs during the rut were not markedly different from collisions outside the rut. Over the range of deer densities and harvest levels found in this rural county, there was little evidence that these factors inﬂuence the number of DVCs. Management efforts should include changing motorist behavior or road attributes.
"Predicting Risk of Deer-Vehicle Collisions Using a Social Media-Based Geographic Information System" G. Kent Webb (2012) Issues in Information Systems, Volume 13, Issue 2. pp. 170-181.
This study describes some of the contradictory results in the literature resulting from data problems and concludes that a study of deer-vehicle collisions in the San Francisco Bay Area supports the theme in the literature that road conditions influence the risk of collisions more strongly than moderate variations in deer density.
State Farm's 2012 Deer-Vehicle Collision Analysis October, 2012 Click on image to enlarge
The number of deer-related collisions in the U.S. has increased by 7.7 percent over the last year. This jump comes after a three year period during which these collisions dropped 2.2 percent.
Council Talks Deer Management, Chevy Chase Program Deemed A Success? February 28, 2013 Maryland, Bethesda Now
... County data shows the deer management program racked up 5,598 deer kills during the 2012-2013 seasons, 5,571 in 2011-2012, 5,969 in 2010-2011 and 5,599 in 2009-2010. Despite those totals, the number of reported deer-vehicle collisions hasn’t shown many signs of a long-term decrease. There were 2,019 reported deer-related vehicle accidents in the county in 2012 and 2,038 in 2011. The annual number has not dipped below the 1,841 accidents since 2000 and in six of those years, the number exceeded 2,000 accidents.
Fort Thomas report shows fewer deer, more accidents May 7, 2013 Ohio, Cincinnati.com
... City administrator Donald Martin presented the annual deer report ... while aerial census results show the deer population has decreased from 205 in 2010, to 96 in February 2013, the deer-related vehicle accidents have gone up from 13 in 2010, to 19 in 2011, and 20 in 2012, along with one deer-related bicycle accident.... councilman Roger Peterman said. “The thing that bothered me is that we went into this (archery program) for safety, and it’s not working.” ...
Rochester Hills: Suburb cuts deer-car collisions by 25 percent November 23, 2011 Michigan, Plain Dealer. By Donna J. Miller, Plain Dealer reporter... Despite a 34 percent increase in the Rochester Hills deer population since 2009, the city experienced a 25 percent reduction in deer-vehicle crashes, the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments said. The decline was up to five times greater than that seen in neighboring areas, which did not use the signs and "Don't veer for the deer" campaign.... Get details at tinyurl.com/4k5x8fo (scroll down to Deer Management Information).
An evaluation of a mitigation strategy for deer-vehicle collisions, Utah, Wildlife Biology, 2012, John A. Bissonette & Silvia Rosa
John A. Bissonette & Silvia Rosa
High mule deer Odocoileus hemionus mortality in southwestern Utah led to the establishment of a mitigation strategy with two major objectives: 1) reduction of wildlife-vehicle collisions and 2) restoration of landscape connectivity to facilitate wildlife movement across the roaded landscape. During our study, we assessed the effectiveness of the mitigation measures in reducing mule deer mortality in the following ways: 1) we compared the number of deer-vehicle collisions in the newly fenced area with a control area without fencing; 2) we analyzed the ‘end-of-the-fence’ problem, defined here as increased mortality of mule deer at the ends of the 2.4-m high exclusion fences; and 3) we evaluated the frequency of animal crossings of the new underpasses using remotely-sensed cameras and compared them with crossing frequency rates for a 20-year-old control underpass. We compared six years of pre-construction mortality (during 1998-2003) with two years of post-construction data on mortality (during 2005-2006) and found a 98.5% decline in deer mortalities in the treatment (i.e. fenced, jump-outs and underpasses) vs a 2.9% decline in the control (i.e. no fences, no jump-outs and no underpasses). We detected no end-of-the-fence problems related to deer mortality. Migratory movements during fall and spring were clearly reflected in the use of underpass. Overall results demonstrated that the mitigation strategy was effective and reduced the number of deer-vehicle accidents, while allowing wildlife movement across the landscape.
Electronic deer deterrent could prevent over 1 million accidents each year November 27, 2012 Fox News
Deer Deter is an automated electronic system designed to keep wild deer and other large animals from running into oncoming traffic in the dark of night. Using a combination of light and sound, it literally stops the animals in their tracks as cars pass by... According to the company’s U.S. representative, Edward A Mulka ... Over 11,000 of the units have been deployed in Europe near known deer feeding points... the installations have reduced collisions by up to 90 percent.
Intelligent Deer Crossing System Just Got a Lot Smarter and Less Expensive October 17, 2012 New Jersey, Sacramento Bee
JAFA Technologies, Inc. of Mount Laurel, NJ announced today that Austrian company IPTE Schalk and Schalk OG completed development of a far more intelligent, less expensive, next generation animal-vehicle collision avoidance system that has additional intelligent transportation and roadside communications capabilities. In addition to significantly reducing animal-vehicle collisions, the DeerDeter system ...
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121017/PH94552-a ) (Photo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121017/PH94552-b )
The units are activated by approaching headlights that set off an audible alarm and accompanying strobe light that acquires the attention of the animal long enough to give it reason to take pause in its travel toward the roadway ...
Deer Birth Control Could Prevent Collisions September 1, 2011
... A birth control injection for deer puts them completely out of the mood to mate for up to five years without a booster.... GonaCon ... eliminates dangerous and destructive courtship behaviors responsible for the autumn increase in collisions between cars and deer....Other deer birth control vaccines prevent pregnancy, but they don't stop the animals from exhibiting mating behaviors, said David Goldade of the U. S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Fort Collins, Colo., where GonaCon was developed....Reindeer Help Christmas Trees Grow [slide show]
De-icing agent in deer debate April 14, 2012 Japan, The Japan Times
Nagano Prefecture applies a de-icing compound to its roads to prevent them from freezing over in winter, but the substance may be endangering wild deer by luring them to busy routes to feed on the salt it contains."The compound is an easily accessible source of salt for deer, and more of them are wandering onto roads to lap it up," said Manabu Miyazaki, 62, who has photographed such behavior.
CDOT to rework wildlife detector The Durango Herald 9/4/2010 "The system can't tell a car from a deer, so it would trigger," McVaugh said. "So we've tried to implement some of our traffic-signal technology to tell the ...
Goal To Evolve Backtail Genetics in California is Heavy Horn Growth ... a Private Landowner Management (PLM) agreement with the Department of Wildlife of the State of California. Each pound of weight increase in the deer adds ad ditional damage in a traffic accident.
Oh deer, watch out! – Volvo developing system to avoid collision with wild animals June 10, 2011 TransportationASEAN Automotive News
A development team from Volvo spent time at a safari park digitally logging film sequences of animals and their various behavioral patterns, focusing on moose, red deer and fallow deer. The company says that the greatest danger is from collisions with a moose, or Eurasian elk, if you prefer. In an impact with an Alces alces, there’s a relatively high risk of personal injury, since it’s common for the animal to end up on or roll across the front of the car and its windscreen. See video at the link below:
Reflectors Seem To Curb Deer Accidents April 6, 2011 Transportation 27east.com
By Will James Apr 5, 2011 5:31 PM Wildlife advocates say they are planning to extend a stretch of roadside reflectors along Stephen Hands Path that are meant to curb nighttime car-deercollisions, citing the apparent success of the experimental system ...
Animal Warning Devices. Evidence that deer whistles are not effective: The state police in Ohio, after months of testing, found no significant decrease in patrol car/deer accidents after the warning devices were installed. In fact, more accidents were reported by the officers after the whistles were installed than before for the same period of time and stretches of highway. Tests conducted in Utah, Georgia and Wisconsin also concluded that deer whistles don't work.
Becoming a Defensive Driving Ph.D. [National Safety Council Recommends Deer Whistlers to Avoid Deer Vehicle Collisions] February 18, 2012 Patch.com
Learning that we should purchase small, anti-deer whistles for our roof racks to help avoid startling large animals that cross the road without looking both ways ... the National Safety Council can ... online graduate course in defensive driving ...
Comparison of Electrified Mats and Cattle Guards to Control WhiteTailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Access through Fences National Wildlife Research Center.
Electrified Roads May Prevent Animal Collisions March 1, 2011 California Care2.com Electrified pads have been installed in road surfaces to deter large wild animals like bears and deer from walking over the highway 101 corridor where eight bears and many more deer have been struck by cars and killed in the last five years. ..
Deer Deter In a joint venture with IPTE, JAFA Technologies is the exclusive distributor of the Wildlife Crossing Guard in North America. This innovative new device is designed to reduce, with the ultimate goal of eliminating, deer-vehicle collisions as a result of night-time road crossings. Installed at intervals of 50 to 100 yards, activation occurs when headlights approach the unit during the time period from dusk to dawn when the vast majority of animal-vehicle collisions occur. When activated, the unit emits a sound that is meant to simulate that of a predator or a cry of fear. The sound is supplemented by a small strobe type light that is meant to represent reflection of movement from the predator’s eyes.
Epping Forest to begin work on reducing deer collisions February 1, 2011 England BBC News Shrubs alongside two roads through Epping Forest are to be cleared in an effort to reduce the number of collisions between cars and deer. ...It will involve removing plants and debris along the verge of the B1393 and the B181, in order to improve the visibility for both drivers and deer.
Road Deaths May Be the No. 1 Threat to US Wildlife April 25, 2011 Transportation NatGeo News Watch (blog)
White-tailed deer roadkill fills the back of a pickup truck, Pennsylvania. (NGS stock photo by William Albert Allard) Automobile accidents constantly remind us of just how dangerous our roadways can be. With nearly 200 million motor vehicles taking to .
Maryland aims to curb wildlife carnage on roads ) (deer collisions cost about $300 per pound of deer hit; smaller deer mean less damage) January 2, 2011 Baltimore Sun Deer hoofprints and tracks of raccoons and other small animals traverse the soft dirt floor of an oversized stream culvert under an almost completed stretch ...
At least one fatality and more than 200 injuries to people occur each year in animal-vehicle crashes in the state. Danger is at its peak in November, when deer are breeding, but collisions occur year-round.
Overpopulation problems December 20, 2010 Part 2 of 3 The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
The Insurance Information Institute reports there are approximately 1.5 million deer-vehicle accidents a year (vehicles hitting deer, deer hitting vehicles and drivers involved in accidents by way of losing control of their vehicles attempting to avoid hitting deer). In 1993, 101 people died in crashes involving animals (mostly deer). That number increased to 150 in 2000 and 223 in 2007.
Most of Texas manages deer the same way the rest of the country does. However, in South Texas, management differs a bit, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has given ranchers there the tools to grow more and bigger bucks. Here is an example: Hundreds of fenced ranches build breeder pens as large as 100 acres. Using a Deer Management Permit (DMP) from the state, ranchers can capture up to 20 does and place them in a breeder pen with the biggest buck they can capture (or buy or rent from a deer farm). After the does are bred, the fawns and does are released back onto the ranch proper. Thus, year after year, does are getting bred by huge bucks, and their male progeny will most likely have improved antlers. Since almost all deer hunting in Texas is on leased ranches, bigger bucks mean bigger bucks ($).
[PDF] Cost–benefit analyses of mitigation measures aimed at reducing collisions with large ungulates in the United States and Canada; a decision support tool (2009)
Deer-Car Accidents in Southern Michigan Ross E. Allen and Dale R. McCullough, Journal of Wildlife Management, vol 40., no. 2 1976.
Of the 2,566 accidents studies, "...the deer was killed in 92 percent of the accidents. Human injuries occurred in less than 4 percent, and most resulted from secondary collisions."
Methods to Reduce Traffic Crashes Involving Deer: What Works and What Does Not. Traffic Injury Prevention, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2004, Pages 122 - 131
Authors: JAMES H. HEDLUNDa; PAUL D. CURTISb; GWEN CURTISc; ALLAN F. WILLIAMS
More than 1.5 million traffic crashes involving deer, producing at least $1.1 billion in vehicle damage and about 150 fatalities, are estimated to occur annually in the United States. Deer-related crashes are increasing as both deer populations and vehicular travel increase. Many methods have been used in attempts to reduce deer crashes, often with little scientific foundation and limited evaluation. This article summarizes the methods and reviews the evidence of their effectiveness and the situations in which each may be useful. The only widely accepted method with solid evidence of effectiveness is well-designed and maintained fencing, combined with underpasses or overpasses as appropriate. Herd reduction is controversial but can be effective. Deer whistles appear useless. Roadside reflectors appear to have little long-term effect, although additional well-designed evaluations are needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. Both temporary passive signs and active signs appear promising in specific situations, but considerable research is required to evaluate long-term driver response and to improve and test deer detection technology for active signs. Other methods using advanced technology require substantial additional research and evaluation.
Examination of Factors Affecting Driver Injury Severity in Michigan's Single-Vehicle—Deer Crashes (2009)
Peter Savolainen and Indrajit Ghosh Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Michigan is plagued by more than 60,000 deer—vehicle crashes on an annual basis. Although the majority of these crashes result in property damage only, a substantial number lead to significant injuries and fatalities, illustrating the need for a better understanding of the many interrelated factors that affect crash severity. A database of all single-vehicle deer—vehicle crashes (DVC) reported to Michigan law enforcement agencies between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2005, was used to estimate a multinomial logit model of driver injury severity. Results revealed a number of driver, vehicle, and environmental factors that significantly influenced injury severity. Younger drivers were more likely to be injured as a result of a DVC, a possible indication of a lack of appropriate skills or knowledge on the part of these drivers when they encounter deer on the roadway. Female drivers were found to be at an increased risk of injury, as were drivers who had a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Seatbelt and airbag usage were found to be the most effective means of reducing the likelihood of severe injuries, although airbags did increase the likelihood of minor injuries. Impacting deer head-on and avoiding run-off-the-road collisions were also found to reduce the propensity of injury. Educational and enforcement initiatives, such as the "Don't Veer for Deer" campaign, may provide a cost-effective means of combating the DVC problem. addressing the DVC severity issue.
National Deer-Vehicle Collisions Project, England, (2003-2005)The severity of DVCs (in terms level of damage sustained to vehicles and injuries to drivers), may generally be expected to increase with the size of the animal or deer species concerned. Among the six main free ranging deer species in England, the largest by far are red deer, with fully grown females commonly reaching weights in excess of 100kg and stags up to 200kg; the next largest species are fallow and sika (mean adult female weight c.50kg) at
approximately half the size and weight of red deer. The remaining three species are all significantly smaller, with roe approximately half the weight of adult fallow, while muntjac and Chinese Water deer somewhat smaller still. Hartwig (1991) in a study of DVCs reported to police authorities in western Germany found that 97.5% of collisions with roe deer caused only minor damage (up to 3000 DM; equiv. c.£1000) and therefore often go unrecorded, with the remainder causing more extensive damage and/or injury. For red deer, equivalent figures provided by Hartwig were 88% of collisions leading to minor damage, and 12% with major damage or injury; while figures for fallow were intermediate with 93% causing minor damage and 7% major damage or injury. Similarly, Haikonen and Summala (2001) in Finland estimated that the percentage of whitetailed deer-vehicle collisions resulting in human injuries lies at 1.3%, but rises to 9.9 % for incidents involving moose.
Wildlife-Highway Crossing Mitigation Measures May, 2007 Seasonal wildlife warning signs (2 signs per km, one sign for each travel direction, and an assumed life span of 10 years, no maintenance) may result in a 26% reduction of deer-vehicle collisions, and could end up saving $10,393 per km per year. Bear in mind, however, that these types of signs are only applicable in situations where deer (or other large animals) display road crossing behavior that is concentrated in space and time. Animal detection systems (life span 10 years, costs include maintenance) cost more, but still result in a positive balance of $1,562 per km per year because of their effectiveness in reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions by 82%. Vegetation removal, however, demonstrates more potential and may result in a positive balance of $14,729 per km per year.Assuming that deer reflectors and mirrors (life span 12.5 years, costs includes maintenance) are indeed not effective in reducing deer-vehicle collisions, they have a negative balance of $495 per km per year.
Cost for culling, relocation, and anti-fertility treatment was set at $110, $450, and $1128 (females only), respectively. Assuming that a population can only be reduced by 50% before the culling, relocation, or anti-fertility treatment efforts become much more labor intensive, the one time culling and relocation of 68.4 deer costs $7,524 and $30,780 (reduction of 68.4 deer). Suburban white-tailed deer populations can double their population size every 2-5 years, depending on the circumstances (DeNicola et al. 2000). Assuming a closed population (no immigration from adjacent areas) and a doubling of population size every 3 years, the culling and relocation effort would have to be repeated every 3 years, resulting in an annual cost per km road length of $2,508, $10,260 for culling and relocation. For the anti-fertility treatment, it was assumed that 80% of the females (80% of 68.4 female deer is 54.7 female deer, assuming an equal sex ratio), would have to be treated annually to stabilize or reduce the population density (DeNicola et al. 2000, Rudolph et al. 2000). This results in an annual cost for anti-fertility treatment of $61,702. The above calculations result in a positive balance for culling and relocation, and in a negative balance for anti-fertility treatment. Bear in mind that if the population is open to immigration from adjacent areas that the effectiveness for the culling, relocation, and anti-fertility treatment efforts will be much reduced or potentially eliminated.
Understanding motives of deer hunting and how to be safe November 6, 2012 Kentucky, KyForward.com
... According to the International Hunter Education Association, approximately 1,000 people in the U.S. and Canada are accidentally shot by hunters every year, and just under a hundred are killed. The most common misconception though is that all hunting incidents involve firearms, but statistics show that you’re most likely to be injured or killed falling from a tree stand...
- DeerCrash.org Reduciing Deer-Vehicle Collisions through enhanced road safety practices
- Reducing Deer Vehicle Crashes Information Summary from Cornell University
- California Roadkill Observation System Volunteers are asked to upload roadkill incidents to a database that is mapped.
- A website for mitigating the effects of roads on wildlife supported by USGS and Utah State University
Deer and Transportation News and Information by State
Deer Whistle Keeps Drivers and Wildlife Safely Apart Uber-Review (blog) 8/23/2010 Picture this, you are screaming along a wide country road on a sports bike – then out of nowhere, a deer appears on the road (in a country that doesn't have ... it could possibly have been avoided with an $8 whistle that clips onto the front of cars or bikes. The manufacturer says that at speeds over 35 MPH (which are the ones that are going to cause you the most damage). The sound is inaudible to humans, but the manufacturer tells you that it will cause deer, elk, moose & antelope to “freeze in their tracks” – instead of running onto the road in front of you....The Deer Whistle can be concealed behind a grill, or under the bumper – it only needs airflow to do what it does. If you’ve got a bike or small car it could save you from a nasty collision.
Best Practices Manual: Wildlife Vehicle Collision Reduction Study: Deer culling is not identified as a best practice.
Table 2. Effectiveness, benefit, and ranking of mitigation measures (see the Report to Congress).1
1 Determined by Project Committee for National WVC Reduction Study
Click on image below to enlarge
Infographic: Deer-Vehicle Collisions – The Facts, Solutions and Driving Tips December 2, 2011
the KAP. Design studio
When you consider the potential mass appeal of the scientific journal papers (mostly text) I reviewed compared with this new infographic (eye-catching graphics, filtered data and text), the infographic is far more likely to go viral and reach more people. It is the peak time of year for deer-vehicle collisions in Canada so read and share this infographic to be safe. Drive safely!
Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Mitigation for Safer Wildlife Movement across Highways: State Route 260 Arizona, National Technical Information Service
NL Dodd, JW Gagnon, S Boe, K Ogren… - 2012
Researchers investigated wildlife-highway relationships in central Arizona from 2002 to 2008 along a 17-mile stretch of State Route (SR) 260, which is being reconstructed in 5 phases and will have 11 wildlife underpasses and 6 bridges. Phased reconstruction allowed researchers to use a before-after-control experimental approach to their research. The objectives of the project were to: assess and compare wildlife use of underpasses (UPs); evaluate highway permeability and wildlife movements among reconstruction classes; characterize wildlife-vehicle collision (WVC) patterns and changes with reconstruction; assess relationships among traffic volume and WVCs, wildlife crossing patterns, and UP use; and assess the role of ungulate-proof fencing with WVCs, wildlife UP use, and wildlife permeability. Researchers used video surveillance to assess and compare wildlife use of 6 UPs, at which 15,134 animals and 11 species were recorded; 67.5% crossed through UPs. Modeling found that UP structure type and placement was the most important factor influencing the probability of successful crossings by elk (Cervus elaphus) and Coues whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Researchers used Global Positioning System (GPS) telemetry tracking of 100 elk and 13 white-tailed deer to assess and compare permeability. Elk permeability on reconstructed sections was 39% lower than controls, while deer permeability was 433% higher on reconstructed sections. The elk-vehicle collision (EVC) rate on fenced reconstructed sections was the same as before-reconstruction levels, but on unfenced sections the EVC rate was nearly 4 times higher. In addition to a safer and more environmentally friendly highway, the economic benefit from reduced EVCs on SR 260 averaged $2 million/year since the completion of 3 reconstructed highway sections.
AND FACTORS INFLUENCING THEIR EFFECTIVENESS August, 2005, Virginia Transportation Research Council
Remote cameras installed at seven underpass sites in Virginia have recorded more than 2,700 wildlife photographs and documented 1,107 white-tailed deer crossings in the most heavily used structures. Underpasses with a minimum height of 12 ft were successful at facilitating deer passage. Such structures were also heavily used by a variety of wildlife species, including coyote, red fox, raccoon, groundhog, and opossum. Structures with drainages that mimic natural waterways can encourage use by a diversity of terrestrial, semi-aquatic, and aquatic species.
This report provides guidance in choosing cost-effective underpass design and location features that are necessary to consider to increase motorist safety and habitat connectivity. The findings also demonstrate that if only a minimal number of deer-vehicle collisions is prevented by an effective underpass, the savings in property damage alone can outweigh the construction costs of the structure.
The Video Below is Graphic Evidence of the Horror of Deer Vehicle Collisions.