Yesterday in Wasilla Alaska at approximately 6pm, Alaska State Troopers responded to a single vehicle collision near mile 10 of Knik-Goose Bay road, Wasilla. State troopers found a 31year-old female from Eagle River was texting while driving in a white 2008 GMC Canyon northbound along Knik-Goose Bay road when she collided with a moose
running across the roadway. The female, the sole occupant of the vehicle, was wearing her seatbelt and sustained no injuries. The vehicle was towed from the scene. The driver was issued one criminal citation for Driving with Screen Device in Use (texting while driving).
The Alaska State Troopers office confirmed that the moose had to be put down.
“In 9 of 10 cases the moose dies. They have such long legs that they have a difficult time surviving a collision. Their legs generally sustain severe breaks.”
The trooper also confirmed that the moose was shot and the meat was picked up by a charity.
It’s a familar, but under-reported story. Using a cell phone while driving does cause accidents and deaths, and while the human loss is indeed tragic, the wildlife losses add up in bigger numbers. More than a million animals are turned into roadkill every year.
Threats to people (colleced by the Defenders of Wildlife):
There are 725,000 to 1.5 million wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) in the U.S. every year
Over 200 human fatalities annuallyv
From 2000-2006, wildlife-related crashes in the United States have claimed 2,307 human lives
WVCs cause 29,000 human injuries annually
Over a billion dollars in property damage annually
While only 2% of deer-car collisions result in human fatalities, 85% of deer-motorcycle collisions result in human fatalities. Car-deer crashes in Michigan occur about every eight minutesx
More than 75,000 deer are killed in New York every year by vehicle collisionsxi
6 percent of accidents in Colorado are with wildlife, and can be as high as 25 percent in some areasxii
Deer-vehicle crashes occur most frequently from October to December
Collisions causing human fatalities rose 67% from 1994 to 2006
Threats to Wildlife (colleced by the Defenders of Wildlife): National and Continetal data is not collected. Roads can be barriers to animal movement, and sometimes are the leading cause of a species decline. Distracted driving is a major cause of collision.
There are 4 to 8 large animal vehicle collisions every hour in Canada.
50 percent of all endangered Florida panther deaths are caused by collisions with vehicles..
15 Florida panthers were killed by vehicles in 2007, a grim new record surpassing 2006’s 11 vehicle-caused deaths. There are only an estimated 80-100 Florida panthers left in the wildxxi
In a typical year in British Columbia, Canada:
• 3 people are killed
• 368 motorists are injured
• $600,000 is spent by the Ministry of Transportation for highway clean-up
• 4,300 animals are recorded as killed
• 13,000 animal deaths go unrecorded