DVC Data Collection Survey

Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearninghouse
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Regional Survey of Deer Population, Vehicle Travel, and Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Collection and Management

In March 2003 a survey was completed by the Deer-Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse (DVCIC). The objective of this survey was to investigate regional Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) activities related to the collection and management of deer-vehicle crash (DVC) and DVC-related data. The respondents to this email and telephone survey were the DOT and DNR representatives on the standing Technical Advisory Committee of the DVCIC. A total of 27 questions were asked. The answers to these questions are summarized in this report. Overall, each of the state DNRs annually estimates either a pre-hunt or post-hunt deer population. The DOTs, State Police, or Department of Public Safety maintain the database of officially reported crash data (which includes DVCs), and the majority of the crash reports in each state are completed by law enforcement. All five of the states also allow some form of citizen self-reporting of a crash. Four of the states in the region allow a crash to be reported as a DVC. The fifth only uses the more general animal-vehicle crash designation. Three minimum property-damage crash reporting thresholds are used. Several DVC-reduction countermeasures are being used and/or evaluated in the region. These countermeasures include exclusionary fencing, roadside reflectors, and an advanced sign/roadside detector system. Several DVC-related databases also exist in each state. These databases include white-tailed deer populations, DVCs, carcass possession/salvage permits, carcass removal reports, and/or traffic flow information. Not all of the states in the region record or summarize all of this data. The criteria that define each of the databases are contained in this document. The survey responses also show that there is a limited amount of communication between the DOT and DNR with respect to DVC-related activities. It is believed that better communication would improve the application of DVC countermeasures. The content of this report will be used to define regional databases, compare DVC data temporally and spatially, and also assist in the more proper identification of DVC-related data problems.