Animal Crossings and Car Insurance (Day 42)
Cars hitting animals costs us billions of dollars a year (Last good estimate I saw was just under $10 billion direct costs, repair and medical) This ignores the indirect human costs: time, ease of life, and sanity lost while repairing or replacing the automobile and emotional trauma from the accident, among others. Also ignores the ecological costs: not only does it affect animal mortality (obviously), the splitting of ecosystems by difficult and dangerous to traverse roadways has wide-ranging effects on ecosystem health.
Research and investment into animal crossing overpasses and underpasses have shown they pay themselves back quite quickly for infrastructure (usually under 10 years, depends on location, cost, and human and animal traffic density). They’re also mostly inconspicuous, or fairly nice to look at: I enjoy the fusion of nature and ‘progress’ in the look of a grassy, curved bridge rising over a highway.
We collectively bear these costs via car insurance premiums. As government is almost exclusively involved in construction of road infrastructure, there’s a fairly large disconnect between preventative measures and cost, which seems unfortunate as economically it seems like a slam dunk investment. It would be sweet to connect these issues, as it makes the economics much easier.
So, I know this issue might not be as dear to your heart as it is to mine, but it’ll probably save you money either way. So if your insurance company or local government is considering something like this, bird them a bit, doggedly if you have to, to work on animal crossings.