Minnesota researchers aim to reduce deer-vehicle collisions along Highway 61, other roadways
Deer bounding across Highway 61 are an often unwelcome sight for motorists along the North Shore. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports around 2,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur each year across the state. State officials, however, think that number is much larger, possibly in the tens of thousands.
According to Natural Resources Research Institute Wildlife Biologist Ron Moen, the number of deer-vehicle collisions is much higher because insurance companies only get notified when the damage is severe enough to warrant expensive auto repairs.
With funding from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Moen is taking part in a pilot study to better understand where deer-vehicle collisions happen, document their frequency and develop recommendations to reduce these incidents.
“The base economic cost is $20 million per year for reported accidents, much more when considering unreported collisions,” Moen said. “Deer-vehicle collisions are costly, in terms of both dollars and injury. So that’s the motivation and why MnDOT is interested in this.”and will do the statistical analysis of the data collected.
WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Moen about the research and shares this report. Audio below.