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Results of recent deer-vehicle crash information clearinghouse activities

  • Author(s): Knapp,, Keith K.
  • et al.
Abstract

Deer-vehicle crashes (DVCs) are a signifi cant problem in many areas of the United States. Approximately two years ago the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) funded a regional deer-vehicle crash information clearinghouse (DVCIC). Representatives from the DOT and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) of fi ve states in the Upper Midwest (i.e., Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin) are involved with the clearinghouse project. During the last two years, clearinghouse staff have worked on several tasks related to DVCs. This paper briefl y summarizes the current status of the key results from these ongoing tasks. First, a DVC countermeasure toolbox document is nearing completion. The primary objective of the toolbox is to provide a resource with enough detail that can assist professionals with their decisions related to the mitigation of DVCs. Published research, if available, for a number of DVC countermeasures is summarized in the toolbox document. Draft versions of fi ve countermeasure summaries (two ongoing) are described here and the remainder are located on the clearinghouse webpage: www.deercrash.com. 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 defi ne the similarities and differences of these databases. The results will impact the usefulness of any regional data summaries that are completed. A short summary of some key preliminary results from that survey is included. Third, two graduate students that worked for the clearinghouse recently completed their master’s degree theses. The results of their work are currently being fi nalized and summarized, and their general conclusions are briefl y 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. The latter project also included some suggested guidance for the placement of deer crossing signs. Other ongoing 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 fi ve-state region is also ongoing. The objective of the DVC information clearinghouse and its activities is to provide information about DVCs that help better describe the problem. The DVCIC also assists professionals in their DVC mitigation decisions.

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