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DNR/DOT deer-vehicle collision reduction goal of new study

From West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

-- Two state agencies and an auto insurance company are collaborating to study deer/vehicle collisions in West Virginia and find ways to best reduce their occurrence.

The long-term goal of the project is to identify the most effective mitigation technique at the lowest cost. The State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company, the nationís largest auto insurer, is contributing $50,000, a major funding source for the study.

The DOT and the DNR are preparing to release a Request for Proposals to hire an independent contractor to begin the initial phase. The first phase will include review of mitigation techniques that have been used throughout the country in efforts to reduce deer/vehicle collisions, conduct a cost/benefit analysis of these techniques and evaluate their potential for use in West Virginia.

This effort will also evaluate deer/vehicle collision data already collected by the DOT, DNR and other agencies with a goal of identifying hot spots for these incidents in the state. These hot spots would serve as potential locations where appropriate mitigation techniques could be applied and tested during the second phase of the study to reduce deer/vehicle collisions and provide the largest benefit to West Virginians.

Deer-vehicle collisions across the United States, including West Virginia, are a significant transportation safety problem.  Deer-vehicle collisions account for a large amount of economic damage and can pose a safety hazard, especially on major highways with higher posted speed limits.

Deer-vehicle collisions in West Virginia have been stabilized or reduced in many areas of the state during the past decade but the study goal is to further reduce the number of incidents.

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