Deer-Vehicle Crashes are a growing problem in suburban and rural areas in New Jersey. As deer populations increase, and human settlements sprawl, crashes with deer have become more prevalent. Every year, there are approximately 7,000 reported deer vehicle crashes in the state; while almost twice as many go unreported. According to insurance industry estimates and claims data, New Jersey ranks 13th in the nation in terms of the number of deer-vehicle crashes each year.
Though fatalities are rare, the risk of injury, costs incurred from vehicle damage, and concerns for animal welfare make this an important issue. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, (NJTPA), the Metropolitan Planning Organization for northern New Jersey, recently identified Deer Vehicle Crashes as a regionwide focus area and initiated the North Jersey Deer Vehicle Crash Coalition in order to begin to address this issue.
The North Jersey Deer Vehicle Crash Coalition, formed in
March, 2006, is chaired by NJTPA staff. Members include the NJ
Department of Environmental Protection, NJ
Department of Transportation, NJ
Turnpike Authority, NJ
Division of Highway Traffic Safety, American
Automobile Association, and county and local engineers, planners, and
law enforcement personnel. The Coalition’s first effort is a public
education campaign to recommend driving behaviors that are most likely to
reduce the severity of a crash involving deer (or other large animals) should
these crashes be unavoidable.
As the coalition continues, future activities may include encouraging state and local engineers to routinely include safety measures to address deer vehicle crashes in roadway improvement projects. Many counties and localities already have installed safety measures such as reflectors, fencing, or wildlife road crossings.
For more information about the NJ Deer Vehicle Crash Coalition, contact NJTPA at (973) 639-8400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information about Deer-Vehicle Crash issues and solutions, see the links at right.
Deer Crash Resources
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