WATERLOO, Ont. –University of Waterloo researchers have found that Ontario could save millions of dollars by introducing measures to help prevent collisions with wildlife.
A related study that focused on such collisions in southern Ontario recommends strategies including better signage, wildlife detection systems, fencing and wildlife crossings.
“These collisions cost Canadians hundreds of millions a year in vehicle damage and medical costs, as well as traffic delays, emergency services use and increases in insurance premiums,” said associate professor Michael Drescher — who co-authored Implementing Wildlife-Management Strategies into Road Infrastructure in Southern Ontario with graduate student Kristin Elton. “Ontario is missing an opportunity here. The most efficient way to prevent these accidents is to integrate effective measures in wildlife conflict zones every time major road work is undertaken.”
The Rocky Mountain region is a leader in such strategies, he said, noting how 5-10% of car insurance premiums go to animal-related incidents.
“They’ve realized the economics are simple. Adding measures to road construction projects only marginally impacts the overall budget, while saving millions in taxpayer money, insurance costs, and potentially lives,” Drescher added.