The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) and Eco-Kare International partnered in the first phase of this project to undertake a feasibility study for a Canadian wildlife-vehicle collision database. Desjardins Insurance was the primary sponsor for this study and additional funding was provided by the Ontario Wildlife Foundation. Given Canada’s expansive natural rural environments and integration of nature with urban areas, interactions between drivers and wildlife on the road are one of many concerns for road safety researchers and practitioners alike. Unfortunately, data on wildlife vehicle collisions (WVCs) that could help improve knowledge on this issue are substantially limited due to various factors such as under-reporting or inconsistent data collection across jurisdictions. At the same time, between 2001 and 2010, available data showed that 296 people were killed due to vehicle collisions with animals in Canada and the financial costs associated with these collisions were estimated to be $200 million annually.
The objective of this national study was to gather, review and summarize available data in Canada related to wildlife-vehicle collisions, and to determine what research questions could be answered using these data and gaps that exist. Results of this study shed light on ways that the development of a national database could be used to efficiently address the problem and identify practical solutions for dealing with the wildlife-vehicle collisions on our roads. Equally important, an environmental scan of Canadian information in 2014 revealed that there are limited and inconsistent educational resources available to Canadians regarding ways to safely respond to wildlife on roads. To fill this gap, in 2015 TIRF undertook the second phase of this study and launched the Wildlife Roadsharing Resource Centre (WRRC), also funded by Desjardins Insurance. The WRRC is designed to increase knowledge and raise awareness about vehicle collisions with animals on and near roadways. This web-based resource is easily accessible to both the public and researchers. It contains important road safety information that can be easily downloaded or printed and carried in vehicles. The information is clear and gives drivers precise information on what to do if they encounter different types of wildlife on the road and instructions for different stages of a potential wildlife-vehicle collision.
- Ontario Wildlife Foundation
Project Status: Published
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