Anyone who lives in an area inhabited by wildlife knows the Fall season can be particularly dangerous out on the roads as the animals exhibit unpredictable behavior which includes darting in front of traffic – but September 16-22, 2018, Watch Out for Wildlife Week serves as a very good reminder to stay alert!
“Deer, bears, and other wildlife aren’t looking out for you, so you have to look out for them,” said CSLEA Foundation Chairman Kenny Ehrman. “They have mating, storing food and or hibernation on their minds. Their behavior is truly unpredictable. They’ll dart across an entire freeway, so please slow down, especially around curves and watch for signs of wildlife on the sides of the roads you travel.”
Watch Out for Wildlife Week coincides with the season when California’s deer and elk migrate and look for mates, and California’s roadways often cut through these animals’ migration routes. It’s vital that drivers be especially alert now through December to avoid collisions with wildlife. These crashes not only harm wildlife, but collisions with large animals can damage vehicles and cause injury and death to drivers and passengers.
According to the California Highway Patrol, 12 people died and 383 people were injured in 2,134 collisions with wildlife on state, county, and local roadways throughout California in 2017.
Wildlife experts offer the following tips for motorists:
Be extra alert when driving near areas wildlife frequent, such as streams and rivers, and reduce your speed so you can react safely
Pay extra attention driving during the morning and evening when wildlife is often most active.
If you see an animal on or near the road, know that another may be following
Don’t litter. Trash odors can attract animals to roadways.
Pay attention to road shoulders. Look for movement or reflecting eyes. Slow down and honk your horn if you see an animal on or near the road.