The first step in initiating research to reduce the number of deer-vehicle collisions in the United States will get underway Jan. 30-31 as members of eight Departments of Transportation (DOTs) conduct their inaugural meeting.
Members of the Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Research Center (DVCIR Center) Pooled Fund Project will identify, prioritize and guide research aimed at reducing the estimated one-million deer-vehicle crashes that occur annually.
The first meeting, sponsored by the Southwest University Transportation Center at the Texas Transportation Institute, will take place in Shoreview, Minnesota at the MnDOT Arden Hills Training Facility. The DOTs making up the Pooled Fund Project Technical Advisory Committee include Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. These states have “pooled” their funds ($270,000) to initiate efforts addressing the problem.
“This money will help begin the work that we feel is important to reduce the number of these crashes. Approximately 200 people die each year from collisions with deer,” says Keith Knapp, director of the center. Knapp says it’s been estimated that the cost of deer-vehicle crashes to the traveling public each year is more than $1 billion.
Knapp is encouraging other states or organizations interested in aiding the pooled fund to contact him. “The problem of deer-vehicle collisions is not restricted to a certain area of the country. All or part of just about every state deals with this safety problem and the research being conducted to reduce the number of collisions could be widespread.”