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Colorado Fishing News Back to Colorado Fishing News
Time change means increased risk of wildlife encounters for motorists
11/5/2011
Credit:
CPW press release
DENVER -- As Nov. 5 brings an end to daylight savings saving time, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding Colorado motorists of the higher risk of being involved in a wildlife-related accident.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), November sees more car accidents involving wildlife than any other month.

"Fall is a particularly dangerous season for motorists and wildlife," said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hunter Education Coordinator Mark Cousins. "Many people will be commuting at dusk when visibility is poor and when many of our big game animals are most active. Deer are extremely vulnerable to being struck this time of year because this is their peak mating season. They are more mobile, easily distracted and more likely to be crossing roadways."

According to transportation studies, motor vehicle accidents involving wildlife rank as the third leading cause for crashes behind speeding and inattentive driving. These statistics include severe property damage, injuries and fatalities.

Wildlife-related accidents can happen anywhere in Colorado, however, drivers should be especially cautious when traveling through forests and agricultural land, as well as the following "high-risk" areas:

I-70 (Floyd Hill, Mt. Vernon Canyon and Eagle)

US 285 (Morrison)

Highway 160 (Durango to Pagosa Springs and Durango to Mancos)

Highway 550 (north of Durango and from Montrose to Ouray)

I-25 (Castle Rock to Larkspur)

Highway 82 (Glenwood Springs to Aspen)

Highway 36 (Boulder to Lyons)

Highway 93 (Golden to Boulder)

While some collisions may be unavoidable, motorists can reduce the likelihood of an accident by taking the following precautions:

Slow Down! Driving more slowly increases reaction time and reduces the chance of a collision.

Stay Alert while driving at dusk and dawn. This is when many of Colorado's wildlife are the most active and are likely to be crossing roadways.

Scan Ahead and watch for movement along roadsides. When driving at night, watch for shining eyes in headlights. Always look and be prepared for more than one animal.

Obey traffic signs and watch for wildlife warning signs.

Drivers who are involved in a wildlife/vehicle collision should report the accident to the Colorado State Patrol by calling *CSP (star key and 277).

For more information on wildlife and traffic safety on I-70, visit

http://www.i-70wildlifewatch.org

For tips on safe driving in winter throughout Colorado, go to:

http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving/winter-driving.html