Objective.—Animal-vehicle collisions are a significant public health concern in the United States. The annual economic cost currently exceeds $1 billion from injuries and property damage. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluated nonfatal injuries from animal-vehicle collisions, but information on fatal animal-vehicle collisions is limited. This study evaluates risk factors associated with fatal animal-vehicle collisions.
Methods.—This study evaluates characteristics of fatal animal-vehicle collisions in the United States from 1995–2004 by using the Fatality Accident Reporting System database of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Results.—An average of 165 deaths occurred each year during this 10-year time period. Most deaths occurred in rural areas, during the fall months, on straight roads, and in clear weather, and an increasing trend for deaths was noted over this time period.
Conclusion.—The number of fatal animal-vehicle collisions is increasing. Various methods to reduce such collisions are described, with fencing appearing to be the most effective. The use of personal restraints such as seat belts in passenger vehicles and helmets for motorcycle and all-terrain-vehicle riders may decrease fatalities during a collision.