New Project: Identifying Deer-Vehicle Collision Concentrations in Minnesota

Deer-vehicle collisions are a significant risk to public safety on Minnesota roads—causing injuries and death for humans and animals, and property damage. Minnesota ranks among the top 10 riskiest states for deer-vehicle collisions in the nation.

In a new research project, investigators will improve the understanding of factors (such as geography, road type, land use, deer, and traffic volume) that lead to higher deer-vehicle collision risk in Minnesota. To prioritize funding for counter-measures, the team will identify areas that would benefit from action to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.

“Minnesota has a relatively high number of deer-vehicle collisions,” said Christopher Smith, MnDOT wildlife ecologist. “We are excited about the project’s use of innovative analytical methods to identify variables that increase deer-vehicle collision risk and help prioritize locations to deploy countermeasures and improve driver safety.”    

Objectives

  1. Literature Review: Conduct a literature review of deer-vehicle collisions in Minnesota.
  2. Data: Identify, obtain, and develop GIS-based data sets to use in the analysis.
  3. Field Project: Locate deer-vehicle collisions over 12 months to estimate the number of unreported deer-vehicle collisions.
  4. Machine Learning Based Model: Develop a data-driven machine learning model for deer-vehicle collision likelihood by identifying risk factors from previous collision locations.
  5. Hotspot Mapping: Plot hotspots (geographic areas that correlate to high deer-vehicle collision rates) on an interactive map.

Project Details

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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