A day off Sunday’s time change for Daylight Savings Time, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the agency tasked with managing the state’s wild animals among several outdoor activities, is asking commuters to be mindful of wildlife on the roads. Due to dusk now arriving earlier, the chances for collisions also increase.
“The changing season coincides with peak mating time for much of Colorado wildlife, particularly deer,” Jason Duetsch, district wildlife manager for CPW, said in a news release. “Right now, deer, moose, elk and other wildlife are more mobile, easily distracted and more likely to be crossing roads and highways. Visibility is also poor when many of our big game animals are most active.”
When drivers see wildlife on or near the road, they are encouraged to slow down or stop, honk and/or flash headlights. These techniques not only warn animals to avoid the road, but help point out the danger to other motorists.
The average property damage cost of animal-vehicle collisions is estimated at more than $3,000, according to CDOT. Motorists can reduce the likelihood of an accident by following a few precautions.
First, slow down, especially at dusk and down. Next, stay alert, and scan ahead to watch for movement along roadsides. If you see one animal, expect it to be accompanied by others.
Last, obey all traffic signs and keep an eye out for wildlife warning displays. Transportation authorities often attempt to limit the number of incidents by lowering nighttime speeds in common areas for collisions.