A Case Study of Deer-Vehicle Accidents on I-64

Report No: 70-R37

Published in 1971

About the report:

This case study of interstate fencing has indicated several findings which should be reviewed by the Virginia Department of Highways Environmental Quality Division. The major findings are: 1. Approximately 55 deer-vehicle collisions occurred on I-64 between Gum Springs and Charlottesville within the first three months after the highway was opened to traffic (September 25 to December 11, 1970). 2. The property damage resulting from the deer-vehicle accidents amounted to $9,550. 3. No human injuries were reported in connection with the accidents covered by this case study. 4. Fencing specifications appear to allow gaps at box culverts and bridges which allow animals to enter the interstate highway. 5. Minor changes in fencing standards could eliminate hazards to motorists. In addition, these changes could help conserve Virginia's wildlife. 6. It appears that less than 50% of deer-vehicle accidents are covered by accident reports at the state police area headquarters. New York and Pennsylvania Highway agencies have found that: (a) A seven-foot fence is only a deterrent. A deer will jump fence, especially during hunting season. (b) A ten-foot fence is deer proof. (c) After a period of time, deer will use the larger culverts and underpasses but will seldom use overpasses. This case study has served to focus the researcher's attention on several minor changes in fencing specifications which could benefit the safety and convenience of Virginia's interstate system. Based on the findings of this study, the researchers recommend that several changes be made in the Department's fencing standards

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • L. Ellis Walton, Wallace T. McKeel, Jr., P.E.

Last updated: February 12, 2024

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