Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the 11th Wildlife Damage Management Conference. (D.L. Nolte, K.A. Fagerstone, Eds). 2005.


Deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs) create societal impacts throughout the range of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginanus). In Michigan reported DVCs increased by nearly 60% between 1992-2003, with current estimates at more than 65,000 DVCs per year and a mean of $2,300 vehicle damage. To better understand where to direct education and information programs, we used Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) data, 2001-2003, to profile driver characteristics and accident situations of DVCs in Washtenaw, Oakland, and Monroe Counties in Michigan. Each county varies in intensity of land use, human and deer densities, and available deer habitat. Deer density in Washtenaw, Oakland, and Monroe Counties was 49.5, 21.9 and 8.9 per mi2, respectively, and the annual rate of DVCs in these counties was 5.3, 2.6 and 1.8 per 1,000 licensed drivers. Drivers are at particular risk of being involved in DVCs between 6pm- 6am, which includes dawn and dusk commuting hours, and night. Single lane roads and roads with higher posted speed limits provided greater risk to drivers of involvement in a DVC. Middle-aged drivers, particularly males, were at increased risk deer-related collisions. Results from this study will be combined with survey research to determine how best to educate drivers about risk factors that make occurrence of a DVC more likely.