VTTI’s Division of Freight, Transit, and Heavy Vehicle Safety (DHVY) is exploring how to mitigate animal-vehicle collisions (AVCs) and deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs) as a major safety concern on our roadways. Vehicle crashes with deer result in more human fatalities than are caused by any other animal in the U.S., typically between 150-200 a year. Senior research associate Andy Alden has led the efforts to use a buried cable animal detection system (BCADS) and associated communications devices to alert oncoming drivers of the presence of an animal on or near the roadway.
In striving to reduce AVCs, the division is helping to curb negative environmental impacts. Studies have shown that over one million DVCs happen in the U.S. each year and these have typically increased as deer populations and miles traveled have also increased. Recommendations that would help to lower the number of these incidents include improved fencing and driver alerting systems that operate inside and outside of the vehicle. These mechanisms can potentially reduce AVCs between 80-90 percent if properly implemented, and DHVY could continue to research those methods with additional financial resources.
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Advanced Vehicle Systems for Animal-Vehicle Conflict Prevention and Mitigation