Here’s Why Minnesota Is No Longer Installing Deer Crossing Signs
State Farm Insurance has labeled Minnesota as a "high-risk" state for deer collisions and we've entered the worst time of the year for crashes. October through December is the most dangerous time for drivers on area roads and highways especially between dusk and dawn.
There are about 2,000 deer-vehicle collisions reported to the state each year, but State Farm says many many more animal-related crashes happen annually in Minnesota. Find out how many insurance claims were made last year and read why Minnesota transportation officials have given up on installing deer-crossing signs below.
More Than 40,000 Deer-Related Crashes Last Year in Minnesota
The insurance company says most people don't report crashes to the state, but they do make insurance claims. The Duluth News Tribune published State Farm's data which shows more than 42,000 animal-related crashes last year.
Think that's a lot? More than 70,000 claims were made in Wisconsin!
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says there are several factors that influence the amount of deer related crashes including:
- Herd population, migration and location
- Roadside vegetation management
- Road factors (i.e. curves, hills, lighting)
- Driver behavior (inattention, speeding)
In the past, MnDOT would install deer crossing signs in areas where a high number of deer crashes were reported to alert drivers.
Here's Why Minnesota Is Getting Rid Of Deer Crossing Signs
The department of transportation says, "Research has shown that deer crossing warning signs do not reduce deer-vehicle crashes."
And it's not just deer crossing signs that people aren't paying attention too - "Signs that alert drivers to infrequent encounters or possible situations, such as deer crossing, children at play, or playground warning signs do not have a consistent impact on driver behavior."
Believe it or not, MnDOT hasn't installed a new deer crossing sign in 17-years.
"Since 2005, MnDOT's policy has been not to install new static deer crossing warning signs and to remove existing signs that have reached the end of their useful life."
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