Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

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Investigation of Crashes with Animals

Product Type

HSIS Summary Report


Warren E. Hughes and Reza Saremi




This paper analyzes vehicle-animal collisions in Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Utah. The number of reported animal crashes increased by 69 percent from 1985 to 1991. Less than 0.2 percent of animal crashes were fatal, and about 5 percent resulted in non-fatal injuries. Animal crashes also increased as a percentage of all reported crashes, from 4.7 percent in 1985 to 8.2 percent in 1991. About 66 percent of animal crashes occurred on two-lane rural roads. Animal crashes were 21.0 percent of all crashes on two-lane rural roads, but only 1.4 percent of crashes on urban roads. Between 68 and 85 percent of all reported animal crashes occurred at night. The greatest number occurred during the early morning hours (5 AM to 8 AM) and the evening hours (6 PM to Midnight). November was the peak month for animal crashes. Animal crash clusters (0.5-km long sections with an average of more than one animal crash per year) were identified; Michigan had the greatest number of these clusters. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that: (1) policies for the installation of deer warning signs be reviewed to restrict their use to locations with significant deer crash problems, (2) further investigation of the effectiveness of warning reflectors should be conducted, and (3) the development of rural IVHS applications (either roadside or vehicle-based) should include consideration of animal-related crashes.

Link To HSIS Summary Report

Investigation of Crashes with Animals


Animal crashes
Crash analysis
Rural roads

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