Car vs. wildlife collisions spike during autumn | Transportation
DENVER -- The Colorado Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be especially aware of wildlife on roadways this time of year.
Over the past ten years, CDOT has seen an average of 3,300 reported wildlife vs. vehicle collisions each year, and those numbers tend to spike during fall migration season.
"As Colorado has an abundance of deer and elk, as well as other wildlife, that live near our urban and rural areas, motorists need to be aware that they can cross our roads without warning at most any time of day or night," said Colorado State Patrol Chief Colonel James Wolfinbarger.
- Slow down and stay alert when you see a highway wildlife warning sign especially between dusk and dawn.
- If you see one deer or elk, expect others.
- Remember to scan ahead on the sides of the road for signs of movement and to watch for the shining eyes of animals that reflect car headlights at night.
- Most importantly, slow down and concentrate on retaining control of your vehicle.
“It is important to maintain control before, during and after a collision with an animal should one occur,” Wolfinbarger says.
These collisions are not only a matter of safety, but can be quite costly as well, insurance experts say.
“The insurance industry pays out nearly $1.1 billion a year in claims for all wildlife-vehicle collisions nationwide; a big portion of that is in the fall, and in particular November, when these types of collisions increase," Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association said. “The average property damage cost of animal-vehicle collisions is estimated at $3,103, up 1.7 percent from a year ago.”
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