Interstate Highway Dangers

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Wildlife/Vehicle Collisions on the GA Interstate 185,
Troup County, Georgia

PADM 6000 - Webster University
Instructor Daryl Roberts
NOV 28, 2009
Table of Contents

Content of Proposal _____________________________________1
Cover page____________________________________________1
Table of Contents_______________________________________2
Abstract_______________________________________________3
Background____________________________________________4
Purpose_______________________________________________16
Objectives_____________________________________________16
Methods______________________________________________17
Special Consideration___________________________________21
Report________________________________________________21
Strengths, limitations, and potential biases___________________22 Key personnel involved__________________________________24
References_____________________________________________25
Appendices:
Appendix A – State WVC Data________________________27
Appendix B - Budget Elaboration____________________29

ABSTRACT:

Wildlife/Vehicle collisions (WVC), primarily deer, are increasing mortality rates of our natural wildlife populations beyond predation and other environmental factors. Wildlife management practices and the lack of predation have caused more wildlife/vehicle collisions because the numbers of deer and other wildlife commonly hit on our roads and highways have been on a sharp incline since the harsh winter of 1996. The increasing necessity of our automobiles, combined with the overlap in urban areas (urban sprawl) and wildlife habitat in the U.S., has given wildlife little choice but to venture onto our roads and highways. This phenomenon has caused many issues that people are aware of but they feel that there is little that can be done. There have been other countries and states that have attempted to educate and even take steps to reduce wildlife/vehicle collisions through many different means. British Columbia has done extensive testing with different types of signage, education and research/implementation through its Wildlife Collision Prevention Program. (http://www.wildlifeaccidents.ca) Canada and several states in the U.S. have also conducted studies using an Austrian invention, Strieter-Lite Reflectors, to deter deer and other wildlife from crossing particular sections of roads that are high traffic areas. (Grenier, p.2) Some states have even posted nighttime speed limits to increase driver reaction time and decrease collisions with wildlife. All of these methods have met with varying degrees of success. Georgia State Highway 185 in the southern part Troup county is one of the highest WVC areas in the state (Norvell, 2009). There has been little done in the way of research to determine exactly how many collisions occur each year on that particular stretch of highway, of what type of ungulate caused the WVC and is there specific areas that the WVC are occurring more than others. In this research project we will propose a study to determine where the WVCs are occurring and by what type. Then, slower speed limits will be posted and a control area will be selected to determine if lowering the speed limit along the highway in high wildlife traffic areas is effective at reducing WVC.

BACKGROUND:

According to State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer, there were more than 1.2 million claims for damage in crashes with animals during the last half of 2007 and the first half of 2008. Most WVCs are not bad enough to injure people, but data from the federal government show that crash deaths are increasing. In 1993, 101 people died in crashes involving animals. By 2000, the number was 150, and in 2007 it was 223. The states with the largest number of total deaths are Texas with 227 deaths during 1993-2007, Wisconsin with 123, and Pennsylvania with 112 (see attached table of state-by-state deaths in crashes with...
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