Special Report 2018: Impact of Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict on California Drivers and Animals

Using observations of reported traffic incidents and carcasses the Road Ecology Center estimates the total annual cost (2017) of wildlife-vehicle conflict (WVC) in California to be at least $307 million, up 11% from 2016. The cost is calculated using CHP reports of crashes with wildlife and US Department of Transportation equivalent values for different types of crashes (e.g., property damage vs. major injury). The estimated cost could be as high as $600 million if accidents that are claimed to insurance companies (but un-reported to police) were included. This report includes maps of WVC hotspots, discusses impacts to wildlife and people from WVC, and presents new tools to help organizations, state agencies and individuals use this information. Projects to reduce WVC can be the most effective of any safety project, with effectiveness often >90%.