Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse

Papers

1. Deer-Vehicle Crash Patterns and Deer Crossing Sign Placement

2. Development of a Deer-Vehicle Crash Countermeasure Toolbox

3. Deer-Vehicle Crash Patterns and Proposed Warning Sign Installation Guidelines

4. Results of Recent Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse Activities

5. Deer-Vehicle Crash Countermeasures Effectiveness Research Review

6. Development of a Countywide Deer-Vehicle Crash Frequency Model

7. Defining and Solving the Deer-Vehicle Crash Problem: The Results and Implications of a Regional Data Collection and Management Survey

8. Crash Reduction Factors for Deer-Vehicle Crash Countermeasures: State-of-the-Knowledge and Suggested Safety Research Needs

9. Roadway Design Decisions and Animal-Vehicle Crashes

10. Defining the Deer-Vehicle Crash Problem in the United States: National Estimates and Regional Data Collection

11. The Status of Safety-Based Deer-Vehicle Crash Countermeasure Research in the United States

12. Crash Data and Deer Crossing Sign Installation

13. Statewide and Upper Midwest Summary of Deer-Vehicle Crash and Related Data from 1993 to 2003

1. X. Yi. Deer-Vehicle Crash Patterns and Deer Crossing Sign Placement. Masters Thesis, May 2003, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.

-Download document as Word .doc-

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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

3. 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.

-Download document as a PDF-

4. K.K. Knapp. Results of Recent Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse Activities. Presented at the International Conference on Ecology & Transportation, 2003.

This 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

5. 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.

During 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

6. 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.

The 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

7. 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.

The 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

8. 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 Record.
A 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

9. 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.

Animal-vehicle 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

10. 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.

The 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

11. 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.

In 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

12. K.K. Knapp and Xin Yi. Crash Data and Deer Crossing Sign Installation. Accepted for publication in the ITE Journal on the Web.

The 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc-

13. 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.

-Download document as a Word .doc - as a PDF-

- Data Report Pages: Executive Summary | Illinois | Iowa | Michigan | Minnesota | Wisconsin | Region -