Better safe than sorry – Understanding the attitude and habits of drivers can help mitigating animal-vehicle collisions

Borza, Sándor and Godó, Laura and Valkó, Orsolya and Végvári, Zsolt and Deák, Balázs (2023) Better safe than sorry – Understanding the attitude and habits of drivers can help mitigating animal-vehicle collisions. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, 339. ISSN 0301-4797


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The rapidly growing global road networks put serious pressures on terrestrial ecosystems and increase the number and severity of human-wildlife conflicts, which in most cases manifest in animal-vehicle collisions (AVCs). AVCs pose serious problems both for biodiversity conservation and traffic safety: each year, millions of vertebrates are roadkilled globally and the related economic damage is also substantial. For a comprehensive understanding of factors influencing AVC it is essential to explore the human factor, that is, the habits and attitude of drivers; however, to date, comprehensive surveys are lacking on this topic. Here we addressed this knowledge gap and surveyed the habits of drivers and their experience and attitude towards AVCs by a comprehensive questionnaire covering a large geographical area and involving a large number of respondents (1942 completed questionnaires). We aimed to reveal how driving habits affect the chance of AVC, and explored the attitude of the drivers regarding AVC. We found that the number of lifetime AVC cases was higher for male drivers, for those who drove longer distances per year, had more driven years, used country roads or drove large vehicles. Our results showed that almost half of the drivers surveyed had experienced at least one AVC in their lifetime. Drivers’ attitudes towards the importance of nature conservation or traffic safety in the aspect of AVC, and fear of collision showed a significant correlation with experienced AVC cases. Drivers’ opinions indicated that the most trusted and desired AVC prevention measures were physical objects such as fences and wildlife crossings. Our research provides guidelines for developing targeted initiatives in the future to increase awareness about the significance of AVC and target those drivers who are most vulnerable to AVC.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences / társadalomtudományok > HT Communities. Classes. Races / társadalmi rétegződés > HT165.5 City planning / várostervezés
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2023 10:42
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 10:42

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