Corridors and deer-vehicle collisions along Missouri interstate highways
Metadata[+] Show full item record
A total of 3,639 deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs) were reported on Missouri roadways in 2020, resulting in 348 injuries and 5 deaths. Missouri is ranked 15th nationwide for this type of accident. Of the DVCs, 490 occurred along 1,200 miles of urban and rural interstates in Missouri (I-29, I-35, I-44, I-49, I-55, I-57, I-64, I-70, I-155, I-170, I-255, I-270, I-435, and I-470). Despite the small number of DVCs on interstates (<15 percent), these sites are high-speed impacts, averaging $6,717 per crash. This study investigated DVCs on interstate highways using secondary data obtained from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Each pair of longitude and latitude coordinates was uploaded into Google Maps and observed on a 200-foot scale view. Aerial photography and street-side images were used to examine the possible influence of land use characteristics and corridors adjacent to each location. Of the 490 DVC sites examined, 449 (91.6 percent) were near a natural (47 percent) or cultural (31 percent) corridor, and sometimes both (22 percent). Natural corridors consisted mostly of vegetation (65.7 percent), water (31.8 percent), and dry creeks (2.5 percent), whereas cultural corridors were secondary roads (36.1 percent), fence rows (22.6 percent), public utilities (22.2 percent) and overpasses (19 percent). Results showed that the distance from the nearest corridor to the collision point was about 350 feet, reinforcing the importance of landscape connectivity. These findings, when combined with other studies, can be useful to warn motorists at certain times (dawn/dusk) and seasons (fall/winter) at specific locations (hotspots) along Missouri interstates when the risk of a collision with deer is greatest. St. Louis and Kansas City had the most concentrated DVC sites statewide, drawing attention to urban deer and city drivers.