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Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict Costing California Millions

A. Strakey / Flickr
 

A. Strakey / Flickr

Collisions between vehicles and wildlife in California cost more than $225 million a year. That's according to a new UC Davis study. Fraser Shilling is with the university's Road Ecology Center. He says there are several reasons for that high cost:

"One is that vehicles are more expensive and they're going faster,” says Shilling. “So a collision at 70-miles-an-hour with a deer, 150-pound deer, is going to potentially total the vehicle. And so the average cost of a vehicle hitting a deer is pretty high."

Shilling says other reasons include emergency workers responding to the accidents and drivers who end up missing work. He says the cost of vehicles hitting wildlife equals about two percent of California’s transportation budget. The study recommends the state earmark 2 percent of that budget for efforts aimed at increasing the safety of both animals and people.