Most of us probably never think about the possibility of
hitting an animal as we speed along on our California freeways and roads. But it does happen, and more often than you might suppose. Slamming into a large animal, or even a small animal, at freeway speeds can cause extensive damage and life threatening situations.
A new report from U.C. Davis, the "2018 Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict Hotspots Report," attempts to identify the sections of roadway where collision with animals is most likely to happen. According to the report, "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 estimated cost could be as high as $600 million if accidents that are claimed to insurance companies (but un-reported to police) were included."
The report states there were 6,411 reported collisions in 2017 (up 11% from the prior year), resulting in 224 minor injuries, 44 major injuries, and 12 fatalities. According to the report, the "risk is greatest when there are more drivers driving fast through or near wildlife habitat, such as the San Francisco peninsula, the Sierra Nevada foothills and portions of Southern California.
Not surprisingly, the report lists the 101 Freeway in the Agoura Hills - Calabasas area as among the most dangerous in Southern California for vehicle-animal collisions. The report also includes an interactive map which provides real time detail of wildlife-vehicle conflicts on specific segments of roadway. You can access the entire report here: