Date of this Version
Mammal Research (2024) 69: 131–144
Vehicle collisions with wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are reported almost everywhere this species is found. However, this is one of the least studied and characterized forms of damage that these invasive animals cause in the United States (US). We analyzed 518 wild pig-vehicle collisions (WPVCs) that took place statewide in Georgia between 2015 and 2021. From that dataset, we analyzed several parameters in order to better understand and characterize these accidents on a scale that had previously not been done in the US. Wild pig-vehicle collisions were reported from 105 out of the 159 counties in Georgia, increasing in number annually over the seven-year period. WPVCs were most likely to occur in the fall (37%). A duration weighted time of day analysis showed that WPVCs were most frequent at dusk. Most (97%) reported accidents were caused by live wild pigs, with the remainder being due to collisions with already dead or road-killed pigs. Most (86%) collisions involved a single wild pig while the remainder occurred with two or more pigs. Collisions occurred mostly with passenger cars on dry, straight, and level two-lane blacktop roads under dark, unlighted conditions. Nine percent of the vehicle accidents involving wild pigs resulted in injuries to the drivers and passengers. Some of the most severe injuries reported were caused by swerving to avoid striking wild pigs. No human fatalities were recorded due to these accidents. Wild pig-vehicle collisions are costly and dangerous and should be closely monitored and mitigated by the agencies responsible for motorist safety, transportation infrastructure, and wildlife management.