Deer–vehicle collisions (DVCs) are one of the most frequent and costly human– wildlife conflict throughout the range of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We conducted a self-administered, mail-back survey of Michigan drivers to determine: (1) driver attitudes and knowledge about DVCs; (2) reporting rates of DVCs; and (3) effects of being in a DVC on attitudes toward desired deer population levels. From a sample of 3,600 randomly selected licensed drivers >18 years of age in southeast Michigan, we obtained 1,653 completed questionnaires (48% response rate). Although 18% of respondents reported experiencing >1 DVC within 5 years of the survey and 81% of them perceived DVCs to be a serious problem, drivers stated a willingness to make only modest changes in their driving behavior to minimize risk of a DVC. Most respondents (79%) believed DVCs were unavoidable. Only 46% of drivers involved in >1 DVCs indicated that they reported it to police, and 52% reported the DVC to their insurance company. Drivers involved in DVCs were more likely than other drivers to be male, drive more, be more knowledgeable about DVCs, and be more likely to desire a decrease in the deer population. If reporting rates revealed in this study are an indication of rates elsewhere, DVCs are a much greater hazard than previously estimated.
Marcoux, Alix and Riley, Shawn J.
"Driver Knowledge, Beliefs, and Attitudes About Deer–Vehicle Collisions in Southern Michigan,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 4
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol4/iss1/7