Drivers throughout the US are familiar with the dangers of deer crossing the road, especially at night. A 2012 report from State Farm Insurance found that from 2011-2012, there were 1.23 million deer/vehicle collisions in the US, and the stakes are even higher for those in areas with larger species of Cervidae. Just ask drivers from Finland, who have a serious problem with reindeer. So... how could we make these accidents more avoidable? The Finnish Reindeer Herder's Association thinks it has found the perfect solution – cover their antlers in reflective paint.
The Finnish group found paint company Albedo 100, which makes a special spray paint that only appears when bright light shines on it. The reindeer herders are using two types of the stuff: The reindeer's bodies get a water-soluble form and the antlers are sprayed with a more permanent version.
A 20-reindeer trial started last week. "If the test will be successful, we will paint more reindeer in next autumn and then follow the results we get in traffic," said Anne Ollila, head of Finland's Reindeer Herders' Association in an email to Autoblog. Ollila predicts there are 3,000-5,000 reindeer/vehicle accidents in Finland each year.
This system works especially well in Finland because reindeer are privately owned and hunting is illegal. It's hard to imagine capturing deer in the US, spray painting them and then letting them go. Still, Finland appears to have a unique solution to a dangerous problem. Scroll down to see a short video from Albedo 100 to see how the paint works.