Large animals are towards the top of the list when it comes to causing accidents in rural areas. Even though many measures are in place to keep these collisions to a minimum, some accidents are unavoidable. However, a new system is currently being tested that could help to reduce the number of animal related accidents even further.
The system works by implanting a special kind of cable in the ground a few feet back from the edge of the road. The cables will emit an electromagnetic frequency that is calibrated to detect when a large animal crosses over the vertical beam. When this does happen, a signal will be sent to a processor that will determine the location.
Once the location has been determined, signs that have small lights on them will begin flashing, warning drivers that there might be a large animal on the road ahead. Obviously, people have to pay attention to the signs for the system to work and judging by how some people drive, that amount of attention does not exist.
The benefits of decreasing the number and frequency of animal related collisions are numerous. The first and most obvious is the simple fact that you don’t have to pay for the repairs to a vehicle should you be the driver in question. Secondly, in high traffic areas like highways where a single accident can cause a backup that lasts for hours, if only a single collision is avoided every week the amount of fuel saved would be enormous. Another smaller benefit is the decrease some people would see in their insurance premium due to a lowered percentage of animal related mishaps.
The test bed for the system is currently in Colorado on a stretch of road where up to 70% of all accidents can be related to animals. Testers are also using radar detectors and other computer systems to test the average speed of the vehicles and just how much traffic the road sees.