Relating Wildlife Crashes to Road Reconstruction: FHWA-WY-07/02F
Animal-Vehicle Crashes are a growing trend in America, and Wyoming in particular. The focus of this thesis is to determine the effect of road reconstruction on the number of wild animal crashes using changes in the reported animal-vehicle crash rates.
Multiple literature sources were reviewed to assess the work previously accomplished in the field of animal-vehicle crashes, with a focus on the work performed in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West. Using GIS tools, the Wyoming highway system was analyzed to locate sections of roadway with either animal-vehicle crash rates or frequencies that were higher than average. From these sections, seven reconstruction projects were selected for the study.
Statistical analyses were performed with a focus on crash rates. The seven sections were analyzed as an aggregate data set, and it was determined that wild animal-vehicle crash rates experienced increases following reconstruction. During this same time period, those crash rates not associated with animal-vehicle crashes, as well as the overall crash rate, were generally observed to decrease. An analysis of changes in roadway design attributes was performed, and the only attribute observed to have a statistically significant impact on the animal-vehicle crash rate was design speed.