Road kill is the biggest cause of wildlife mortality. Before the mechanization of land transport, it was essentially non-existent. The construction of roads closer to areas with dense wildlife populations has played a massive role in increasing road kill rates.
In North America and Europe, the most affected animal is deer, and specific measures to protect against the action are being implemented. Road kill affects not only animals alone, as road users are also at risk of fatal accidents.
This article will provide some remarkable road kill statistics you should know.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, this site earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you!
Top 10 Road Kill Statistics
Here are some of the notable road kill statistics that you should know:
- There are over 1 to 2 million animal-vehicle accidents each year in America.
- Road kill is responsible for the cause of death of 28% of the animal population.
- Some habitats have reported that about 80% of animal deaths result from road kill.
- Deer cause about 86.9% of animal-related accidents.
- At least $8 billion in property damage occurs because of animal-vehicle accidents.
- Globally 5.5 million animals die because of road kill.
- Over 100 Americans die annually because of deer-related collisions.
- Odds of Animals Killing People In the USA
- 200 human deaths result from animal-vehicle accidents.
- About 26000 injuries occur because of animal-vehicle accidents.
Read on to discover more remarkable road kill statistics.
Overall Road Kill Statistics
There are many surveys conducted on American roads and globally. The surveys show that more animals are at risk of roads each year because of human encroachment into their natural habitat. Here are some critical facts that you should know.
There Are Over 1 to 2 Million Animal-Vehicle Accidents Each Year in America (Federal Highway Administration)
The vast network of roads is in natural animal habitats causing up to 2 million collisions yearly between cars and large animals.
Road Kill Is Responsible for the Cause of Death of 28% of the Animal Population (Nottingham Trent University)
Nottingham Trent University analyzed previous studies and discovered nearly a third of animal death was from road kill. The percentage was ahead of predation from other animals, diseases, and hunting.
Some Habitats Have Reported About 80% of Animal Death Results From Road Kill (University of Central Florida)
A Global Ecology and Biogeography study shows that Leopard Panthera of North India has an 83% increased risk of extinction from road kill. While in Florida, over 85% of panther deaths were because of vehicles.
Deer Cause About 86.9% Of Animal-Related Accidents (Department of Transportation)
A report by the Department of Transportation shows that deer death accounts for nearly 87% of all reported road kills. In some states, such as Michigan, the deer road kill statistics are as high as 99%
At Least $8 Billion in Property Damage Occur Because of Animal-Vehicle Accidents (CNBC)
Though it is sad to lose animals because of road accidents, motorists are estimated to lose about $8 billion yearly in repairs.
Globally 5.5 Million Animals Die Because of Road Kill (Scientific American)
About 5.5 million animals die per day because of vehicle-animal-related accidents. The figure amounts to about 2 billion deaths annually. In America alone, over 350 million vertebras die by traffic.
Over 100 Americans Die Annually as a Result of Deer-Related Collisions (World Animal Foundation)
Almost 120 Americans die each year because of a car-deer accident. The accident occurs mainly between 6 pm to 9 pm and usually during the winter.
Odds of Animals Killing People in USA (World Animal Foundation)
Deer are the most fatal animal in North America because of the high number of deaths associated with their accidents. The odds of deer killing people in America are 1 in 1.4 million.
200 Human Death Result From Animal-Vehicle Accidents (Centers for Disease Control)
Crashes between motor vehicles and large animals occur each year in America. The accidents killed about 200 people and injured more, causing billions in losses.
The Most Killed Animal in America From Car Crushes (Havahart)
Deer are the most commonly likely animal to die in a car crash in America. 70% of the 50 states make deer the top victim compared to other mammals.
About 26000 Injuries Occur as a Result of Animal-Vehicle Accidents (Governing)
The dreadful toll of animal-vehicle-related accidents leaves many victims with severe and minor injuries. Other than the high number of deaths, there is a significantly larger number of casualties. About 26000 humans sustain injuries.
Eurasian Blackbird Suffer Huge Losses Because of Road Kill (Scientific American)
The Turdus Merula, also known as the Eurasian blackbird, is one of the most threatened species due to road kill. A Whooping 35 million birds get killed when they crash into cars.
Brown Hyena of Southern Africa Going Extinct Because of Road Kill (India Times)
Road kill Global Ecology and Biogeography researchers found the brown hyena endemic to Southern Africa is at risk of extinction. The researcher found up to 75 animals died from car crashes.
Bear Road Kill Numbers in Florida (Florida Fish and Wildlife)
Vehicles in Florida are responsible for over 90% of known bear deaths according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation. This is because of the increased bear population and human development in their natural habitat.
Animals Are at Risk of Extinction (Phys)
With roads expanding each year, over 120 species of animals are at risk as they are vulnerable to road kill. Of the enormous number, 21 are endangered species at risk of extinction.
Single Vehicle Accidents Contribution to Road Kills (Federal Highway Administration)
Nearly all road accidents causing animal deaths are a result of single-vehicle crashes. They account for more than 98%.
Odds of Deer-Related Accidents (World Animal Foundation)
While most animal-related accidents are preventable, the odds are stacked against the average American. The odds are 1 in 116 on hitting a deer, which is unsuitable for drivers who fear hitting a wild animal.
Animal-Vehicle Collisions in Regards to Motor Vehicle Crashes (National Library of Medicine)
Though there are many road kills, they only are about 4-10% of all recorded motor vehicle accidents.
Maned Wolf of Brazil at High Risk of Road Kill (University of Central Florida)
Habitat analysis shows about 20000 Maned wolves remain in Brazil. Other than agriculture, highway encroachment to their natural habitat shows they have a 34% increased extinction rate.
Two Lane Roads and Road Kill Relationship (Federal Highway Administration)
Two-lane roads have contributed to about 89% of registered road kill statistics. This occurs in less human-populated areas with dense wildlife.
Estimation of Unreported Road Kill Accidents (High County News)
The effective efficiency of analysis of road kill accidents depends on reported data. Through analysis of statistical methods and surveys, it has been determined that approximately 50% of road kill is unreported.
Road Kill Figures Around Saguaro National Park (High Country News)
Parks and animal conservation areas are at the highest risk of road kills. Around Saguaro National Park, 51000 vertebrates died. This figure includes 14000 birds, 26000 reptiles, 17000 amphibians, and 6500 mammals.
Repair Cost for Animal-Vehicle Crashes in California (Reuters)
A report from Insurance companies shows that road kill resulted in $ 276 million in damages in 2016. 2700 of those accidents resulted in the death of wildlife in the state.
Increase in Collision Rate in California (Reuters)
The road kill rate in Sacramento has shown an increase of 20%. The animals killed were about 7400, up from 5950. The accident led to 5 human fatalities, with the report showing some drivers harmed themselves to save the animals.
Wildlife Carnage in Tasmania (ABC News)
A study in Tasmania shows at least one animal that dies every minute on Tasmania’s roads. The report was compiled by Tasmanian Devil Program, which tracks road kills through smartphones.
The Change of Road Kill Rates Through Time (Science Direct)
Research on a wildlife tourism hotspot has shown a significant increase in road kill during the weekends. There are about 6.89 road kills per day on weekends which is 24.8% more than on weekdays.
Fall and Road Kill (Harald Net)
There is a massive relationship between seasons and road kills. A study shows that when fall begins, the number of motor vehicle-animal deaths increases as they migrate to get ready for winter.
Impact of COVID Pandemic on Road Kill (National Geographic)
The coronavirus of 2020 caused lockdowns worldwide. With economies shutting down, fewer people were on the road, causing a decline in road kills. During the peak of covid, road use fell by 73% resulting in 58% fewer animal-vehicle-related deaths.
Animal Affected by Road Kill in United Kingdom (Country Squire)
The roads in the United Kingdom are safer for larger animals than those in North America. Though they are relatively safer, it does not apply to small animals. It is reported that about 8500 small animals meet their end on UK roads.
Desert Tortoise Mortality Due to Road Kills (FaunaLytics)
Installation of culverts and fencing of roads on a 15-mile stretch of the Mojave Desert Highway reduced tortoise road kill by 93%.
Deer Road Kill Reduction (Defenders of Wildlife)
Installation of a crosswalks system on a 13-mile stretch in northeast Utah showed a reduction in deer-car crashes by 40%.
The road kill statistics show that the number of dead animals killed on the roads will only increase as traffic volume increases. By setting up infrastructure to reduce road kill, we can impact species threatened with extinction.
Community awareness projects and road signs will greatly protect animals vulnerable to roadkill. The next time you are on the road, apply defensive drive techniques to save a species from extinction and yourself.