The cost of animal and car crashes
Wildlife-related crashes are a growing problem on rural roads around the country. The accidents increased 50 percent from 1990 to 2004, based on the most recent federal data, according to the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University here.
The basic problem is that rural roads are being traveled by more and more people, many of them living in far-flung subdivisions. Each year, about 200 people are killed in as many as two million wildlife-related crashes at a cost of more than $8 billion, the institute estimated in a report prepared for the National Academies of Science.
Ninety percent of the accidents occur on rural two-lane roads, and the most common animal involved is a deer. . . .
The human death toll has risen from 111 in 1995 to around 200 in 2005, the most recent year for which figures are available. Officials say better designed highways would help lower the number.
An 80 percent increase in 10 years is pretty amazing. One cause that he doesn't mention in the piece is the increases in the number of animals. As the number of animals increases, the animals move into areas where people live.