Deer-crossing warning signs reduce collisions: study

November 2, 2011

Bethesda, MD – Installing deer-crossing warning signs at common deer-vehicle collision sites increased driver safety behavior and decreased the number of collisions over a one-year period, according to Canadian researchers.

The researchers investigated the locations of deer carcasses in or near a large Canadian city and installed warning signs at 14 high-collision crossings. They compared collision data over the year against data from previous years and found that the installed warning signs reduced collisions by 44 percent (from 139 collisions in the previous year to 78 following the installation of the signs). Motorists typically slowed down in the presence of the warning signs, researchers found.

They recommended that city planners and transportation agencies determine deer-vehicle collision “hot spots” and install warning signs year-round or during seasonal peaks.

The study was published online in the Wildlife Society Bulletin.