Daylight saving time ends on Nov. 5, when residents will set clocks back an hour. Colorado Parks and Wildlife also reminds motorists to be avoid wildlife-related crashes as daylight hours get shorter.
“The fall time change happens to be right in line with peak mating season for some of our wildlife, especially deer,” Crystal Chick, CPW area wildlife manager said in a news release. “Animals are on the move this time of year, most actively between dawn and dusk. With shorter daylight hours, that makes wildlife harder to see right when people are making their daily commutes.”
And bears are still actively looking for food before hibernating.
The Colorado Department of Transportation reports an average of 3,300 reported wildlife collisions each year, and notes more car accidents involving wildlife occur in November than in any other month. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the average property damage costs from animal-vehicle collisions is over $3,400.
In Southwest Colorado, the Colorado State Patrol reported an increase in animal-vehicle collisions in the past four years – from 1,220 in 2013 to 2,065 in 2016. The highway corridors with significant numbers of collisions include: from Durango to Bayfield, South Fork to Del Norte, and Ridgway to Montrose.
CPW offers the following tips:
Slow down. Swerving at high speeds increases the danger of an accident. Stay alert, particularly while driving between dusk and dawn. Scan ahead and watch for movement and shining eyes along roadsides. Animals are seldom alone.Obey traffic signs, particularly wildlife warning signs. Slow down or stop, honk the horn and/or flash headlights to warn animals.Always wear seat belts.