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Dynamics of Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) Vehicle Collisions in Lithuania: Influence of the Time Factors

Authors: Lina Galinskaitė, Gytautas Ignatavičius

Abstract:

Animal vehicle collisions (AVCs) affect human safety, cause property damage and wildlife welfare. The number of AVCs are increasing and creating serious implications for the animal conservation and management. Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and other large ungulates (moose, wild boar, red deer) are the most frequently collided ungulate with vehicles in Europe. Therefore, we analyzed temporal patterns of roe deer vehicle collisions (RDVC) occurring in Lithuania. Using a comprehensive dataset, consisting of 15,891 data points, we examined the influence of different time units (i.e. time of the day, day of week, month, and season) on RDVC. We identified accident periods within the analyzed time units. Highest frequencies of RDVC occurred on Fridays. Highest frequencies of roe deer-vehicle accidents occurred in May, November and December. Regarding diurnal patterns, most of RDVC occur after sunset and before sunset (during dark hours). Since vehicle collisions with animals showed temporal variation, these should be taken into consideration in developing statistical models of spatial AVC patterns, and also in planning strategies to reduce accident risk.

Keywords: Animal vehicle collision, diurnal patterns, road safety, roe deer, statistical analysis.

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