Number of Deer-Vehicle Collisions Down in Indiana in 2016

May 1, 2017

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the number of deer struck by motor vehicles in the state fell last year.

The DNR’s 2016 Indiana White-Tailed Deer Summary shows that total reported deer-vehicle collisions across the state were down from 15,357 in 2015 to 14,021 collisions in 2016, a drop of nearly 9 percent.

The department said deer-vehicle collisions are analyzed by standardizing across years and counties using statistics on the Daily Vehicle Miles Traveled (DVMT) provided by the Indiana Department of Transportation. This adjustment (collisions per billion miles traveled) accounts for changes in traffic volume between counties to allow for an unbiased comparison between counties and years.

The number of deer-vehicle collisions per billion miles traveled in 2016 was 182, down from 202 collisions per billion miles traveled in 2015.

The total economic cost of deer-vehicle collisions in 2016 in Indiana was $119 million based on the average estimated cost per collision.

Other takeaways from the report include:

  • Counties with the highest number of deer-vehicle collisions per billion county miles traveled were Pulaski (1004), Ohio (892), St. Joseph (881), and Greene (803).
  • Three counties had 50 or fewer deer-vehicle collisions per billion county miles traveled: Marion (10), Lake (38), and Spencer (50).
  • Deer-vehicle collisions per billion miles traveled decreased in 64 counties, remained constant in two counties, and increased in 26 counties compared to 2015.
  • Seven counties showed a greater than 15 percent increase in deer-vehicle collisions per billion miles traveled while 31 counties showed a greater than 15 percent decrease compared to 2015.
  • Jennings County had a 95 percent increase in the number of deer-vehicle collisions per billion miles traveled.
  • Most deer-vehicle collisions in 2016 occurred on state roads (36 percent), county roads (28 percent), and U.S. routes (17 percent).
  • Nearly 45 percent of deer-vehicle collisions in 2016 occurred between October and December.

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