X. Yi. Deer-Vehicle Crash Patterns and Deer Crossing Sign Placement.
Masters Thesis, May 2003, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
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Deer crossing signs are the most widely used potential countermeasure
to deer-vehicle crashes (DVCs). The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
Devices provides qualitative guidance and indicates the installation
of these signs where animal crossings are unexpected. Most drivers
assume these signs designate roadway segments with larger than typical
numbers of DVCs and/or deer crossings. Studies of deer crossing
signs have generally focused on their enhancement and assumed that
they are correctly located and ineffective at DVC reduction. No
generally available, documented, and defensible DVC-related guidance
criteria for the installation of deer crossing signs were found
during this project. These signs, however, are numerous and their
proper installation at locations with a DVC problem would be more
consistent, use limited resources more efficiently, and maximize
whatever potential impact these signs might have on drivers. The
research summarized in this paper investigated DVC patterns near
38 pairs of deer crossing sign pairs in five Wisconsin counties.
Three years of reported DVCs were collected and summarized for the
roadway segments between and within two miles of these pairs. Overall,
1/4-mile and average segment DVC frequencies and rates were calculated
between and outside each sign pair, and compared with each other
and the county and state averages. Fourteen of the 38 sign pairs
were further evaluated because their average and peak DVC measures
were all located between the signs. The findings of this research
were used to develop some general installation guidelines for deer
crossing signs. The limitations of the guidelines are noted.
2. K.K. Knapp. Development of a Deer-Vehicle Crash
Countermeasure Toolbox. In the 2002 Institute of Transportation Engineers
Annual Meeting Compendium, Annual Meeting held in Philadelphia, PA.
Institute of Transportation Engineers, Washington, D.C., August 2002.
K.K. Knapp and X. Yi. Deer-Vehicle Crash Patterns and Proposed Warning
Sign Installation Guidelines. Transportation Research Board Annual
Meeting presentation and publication in the 2004 Transportation Research
Board Annual Meeting Compendium. Transportation Research Board, National
Research Council, Washington, D.C., January 2004.
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K.K. Knapp. Results of Recent Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse
Activities. Presented at the International Conference on Ecology &
paper briefly summarizes the current status of the key results from
these ongoing tasks related to DVCs. First, a DVC countermeasure
toolbox document is nearing completion, with the primary objective
of providing a resource with enough detail that can assist professionals
with their decisions related to the mitigation of DVCs. Second,
DNR and DOT representatives from the region were interviewed about
their collection and estimation methods related to vehicle travel,
reported DVCs, and deer population data. The objective of this survey
was to determine and define the similarities and differences of
these databases. Third, two graduate students that worked for the
clearinghouse recently completed their Masters degree theses. The
results of their work are currently being finalized and summarized,
and their general conclusions are briefly summarized in this paper.
The subject areas of their work included the development of prediction
model(s) for DVCs in Wisconsin counties, and the analysis of DVC
patterns in the vicinity of existing deer crossing signs. Other
tasks of the clearinghouse staff include the development of a document
summarizing gaps in DVC countermeasure research and some suggested
criteria or standards for DVC crash reduction research. The creation
of a deer, vehicle, and DVC data summary for the five state region
is also ongoing.
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K.K. Knapp, X. Yi, and T. Oakasa. Deer-Vehicle Crash Countermeasures
Effectiveness Research Review. In Proceedings of the Mid-Continent
Transportation Research Symposium, 2003.
the last two years an extensive review of deer-vehicle crash (DVC)
countermeasure documentation has been completed. Research and/or
documents related to 16 different countermeasures were reviewed
and are currently being summarized in a DVC Countermeasures Toolbox.
An example of some of the countermeasure research reviewed includes
documents related to deer whistles, warning signs and technologies,
and roadside reflectors. The results of the ongoing countermeasures
review contained in the toolbox are summarized in this paper. The
toolbox is one of the first products from the Deer-Vehicle Crash
Information Clearinghouse (DVCIC). The DVCIC is funded by the Wisconsin
Department of Transportation and five states in the Upper Midwest
(i.e., Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin) are currently
involved with the project. The final version of the DVC Countermeasures
Toolbox, and the results of a DVC data management and characteristics
survey should be completed by the end of 2003. These products, along
with suggested standards for DVC countermeasure research and a regional
data summary, are expected to be resources for transportation decision-makers.
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K.K. Knapp, A. Khattak, and T. Oakasa. Development of a Countywide
Deer-Vehicle Crash Frequency Model. Presented at the 2005 Transportation
Research Board Conference, Washington, DC, January 9-13, 2005.
frequency of deer-vehicle crashes (DVCs) is related to a wide range
of factors. Most of these factors are direct and/or surrogate measures
of vehicular travel and animal habitat/movement characteristics.
This research developed a countywide DVC frequency model using a
negative binomial regression approach. Data describing land use/cover,
deer and human populations, and roadway/travel characteristics,
along with other environmental factors were collected. The DVC frequency
model developed shows an increase in DVCs with deer population and
vehicle travel, and a decrease with increased estimates of wolf
population and woodland acreage. Deer population and vehicle travel
approximate DVC exposure measures, but wolf population and woodland
acreage were also significant and added strength to the model. The
modeling approach used is more valid for crash data than those used
in the past, and the model developed predicts a generally accepted
measure of safety. It can be used to identify counties that require
a closer consideration for DVC countermeasures, and to compare consistently
defined DVC magnitudes of different counties for safety management
purposes. It is recommended that the database used in this research
be expanded, and that a similar statistical analysis be considered
for roadway segments.
K.K. Knapp. Defining and Solving the Deer-Vehicle Crash Problem: The
Results and Implications of a Regional Data Collection and Management
Survey. Presented at the 2005 Transportation Research Board Conference,
Washington, DC, January 9-13, 2005.
magnitude and trend of the deer-vehicle crash (DVC) problem, nationally
and in some states, can only be grossly estimated. At least two
“national” surveys have attempted to estimate the DVC
problem, but their results lack specificity. The inability to define
this safety concern is primarily related to the misunderstandings
produced by the collection, estimation, and combination of several
data sets (with varying characteristics) that can be used to describe
it. DVC-related data are also collected and/or estimated by multiple
governmental agencies within most states. These data characteristics
can also confound the choice of DVC countermeasures locations and
the evaluation of potential countermeasure safety impacts. Countermeasure
research that has not properly documented the data it has used adds
to the misunderstandings. A DVC-related data collection and management
survey was completed for a five state region in order to properly
document its DVC trends and that of each state. Representatives
from the Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources were
surveyed. The defining criteria, weaknesses, and strengths of their
databases are discussed in this paper. They are generally typical
of those that exist throughout the United States. The answers to
the survey questions are summarized, and their implications for
properly defining the DVC problem and completing useful DVC countermeasures
research described. Recommendations are provided that address the
data concerns identified and will begin to improve the ability of
transportation professionals to define and solve the DVC problem.
K.K. Knapp. Crash Reduction Factors for Deer-Vehicle Crash Countermeasures:
State-of-the-Knowledge and Suggested Safety Research Needs. Presented
at the 2005 Transportation Research Board Conference, Washington, DC,
January 9-13, 2005. Accepted for Publication in the Transportation Research
detailed critical evaluation of deer-vehicle crash (DVC) countermeasure
safety analyses has been completed during the last three years. Previous
summaries of this literature have not focused on the adequacy or rigor
of these analyses, and have generally repeated and/or based recommendations
on the exaggerated and sometimes incorrect safety impact conclusions
presented in past documents. A comparison of past safety analysis
designs and documentation to generally accepted transportation safety
research standards was completed for 16 potential DVC countermeasures.
The countermeasures were grouped into one classification system based
on the general safety result trends of past research, and another
system that used categories defined for the safety strategies used
in the implementation of the American Association of State Highway
Transportation Official (AASHTO) Strategic Highway Safety Plan. All
but two of the DVC countermeasures were grouped into the AASHTO “tried”
and “experimental” categories. The proper implementation
of wildlife fencing and crossings has consistently resulted in DVC
reductions and were categorized as “proven” strategies.
The majority of the DVC countermeasures reviewed are used in the field,
but their actual safety impacts have rarely or never been studied.
The study of other countermeasures has produced conflicting safety
analysis results. The use of past research results to develop valid
DVC countermeasure crash reduction factors is not currently considered
advisable given the safety analysis approaches used and the results
produced. Research needs for the countermeasure categories are suggested
to guide the activities needed to achieve this goal.
K.K. Knapp. Roadway Design Decisions and Animal-Vehicle Crashes. To
be presented at the 3rd International Geometric Design Symposium,
Chicago, IL, June 27-July 5, 2005.
crashes (AVCs) are a significant roadway safety problem throughout
the world. In the United States (US), for example, it is estimated
that more than a million deer-vehicle crashes occur each year, and
that the cost of these crashes is over a billion US dollars. The magnitude
of this safety problem can be positively and negatively influenced
by a wide range of roadway planning, design, and maintenance decisions
and agency policies. This connection, however, is rarely discussed
or considered by roadway planners and geometric designers (unless
an endangered species is involved). The purpose of this paper is to
introduce and start a discussion about some of the planning, design,
and maintenance decisions and/or policies that can impact the number
of AVCs along a roadway. Some design decisions (and the policies that
guide them) related to AVCs include posted speed limits, roadway curvature
and cross section (e.g., number of lanes, median type and/or barriers,
etc.), and the height, length, and location of bridges. Some jurisdictions
have also developed and begun to use roadway planning/programming
tools that assist in the general AVC impact estimation of roadway
alignment locations. Maintenance activities (e.g., roadside vegetation
and ice removal) also have potential AVC impacts, and are discussed
in this paper. Overall, however, little quantitative knowledge exists
about the individual or combined AVC impacts of roadway planning,
design, and maintenance decisions. This is a gap in safety research
that should be addressed.
K.K. Knapp. Defining the Deer-Vehicle Crash Problem in the United
States: National Estimates and Regional Data Collection. Invited to
be presented at the 9th International Mammalogical Congress meeting
in Sapporo, Japan, July 31 - August 5, 2005.
magnitude and trend of the deer-vehicle crash (DVC) problem in the
United States can only be grossly estimated. Data that could be used
to more closely define this problem are not consistently collected.
However, at least two "national" surveys have attempted to estimate
the number of DVCs in the United States and their results are presented.
The number of fatalities and estimated non-fatal injuries in the United
States due to animal-vehicle collisions are also included. The inability
to properly define the DVC problem in the United States is primarily
related to the misunderstandings produced by the collection, estimation,
and combination of several data sets (with varying characteristics)
that can be used to describe it. DVC-related data are also collected
and/or estimated by multiple governmental agencies within most states.
A regional Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse (DVCIC) was
started in 2001. During the last four years the DVCIC staff have completed
a DVC data collection and management survey, and also started to collect
(if available) 10 years of reported DVC, deer carcass, and deer population
for a five-state region. The survey was completed to properly document,
compare, and/or combine the state-level DVC data collected. Representatives
from the Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources were
surveyed. The defining criteria, weaknesses, and strengths of their
databases are discussed in this paper. Trend analyses and evaluations
of the DVC data collected are ongoing and preliminary results presented.
Preliminary summary data for each of the five states and the region
during the last 10 years will be described. Recommendations are provided
about how the DVC or animal-vehicle collision problem might be better
defined in the United States. In addition, preliminary regional data
trends presented and discussed. They are believed to be representative
of the trends occurring throughout the United States.
K.K. Knapp. The Status of Safety-Based Deer-Vehicle Crash Countermeasure
Research in the United States. Invited to be presented at the 9th
International Mammalogical Congress meeting in Sapporo, Japan, July
31 - August 5, 2005.
2001 the Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse (DVCIC) was
created by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. DVCIC staff
has completed and continue an extensive review of deer-vehicle crash
(DVC) countermeasure safety analysis documentation. A toolbox has
been created (and will be updated as appropriate) of what is believed
to be the most detailed summary and evaluation of DVC countermeasure
information. Three levels of discussion are provided in the toolbox
that focus on the current state-of-the knowledge related to 16 potential
DVC countermeasures. Specific safety-based and safety-analysis findings
and conclusions for each countermeasure will be presented and are
summarized in this paper. More detailed summaries related to DVC countermeasure
safety impacts can be found on the DVCIC webpage: www.deercrash.com.
More broad-based conclusions and recommendations are provided in this
paper. Overall, the toolbox grouped the 16 countermeasures evaluated
into five categories. These categories were defined by the apparent
use of the countermeasure and how much they have been studied from
a safety point of view. It was not considered appropriate, given the
current limited state-of-the-knowledge and lack of definitive studies,
to group the countermeasures by their possible DVC reduction capabilities.
It was found that although the majority of the potential DVC countermeasures
were used in the field, the safety impacts of few had been evaluated
rigorously. Only studies of properly installed/maintained exclusionary
fencing and wildlife crossing installations have consistently shown
DVC reductions at this point in time. The DVC reduction capabilities
of the other 14 countermeasures appear to still be in question. Different
types of additional evaluation are recommended for the DVC countermeasures
in each of the five categories. Recommendations are also provided
that are expected to improve the current state-of-the-knowledge about
the safety impacts of DVC countermeasures.
K.K. Knapp and Xin Yi. Crash Data and Deer Crossing Sign Installation.
Accepted for publication in the ITE Journal on the Web.
information provided in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
for the installation of deer crossing signs is generally qualitative.
There is also little evidence that quantitative policies for the installation
of these signs exist. This article suggests several basic safety data
comparisons. These comparisons were applied at 22 existing sign pair
locations. Most of the sites met the most general tests suggested,
but less than half met all the tests. For site selection, the correlations
between safety data and roadway and roadside characteristics are also
discussed. The application of one or more of the comparisons is recommended.
K.K. Knapp, C. Kienert, and A. Witte. Statewide and Upper Midwest Summary
of Deer-Vehicle Crash and Related Data from 1993 to 2003. Report DVCIC-03.
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