Changing your clocks with your driving habits during daylight saving time can help prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions. Wildlife experts advise drivers that wildlife is on the move so be aware, drive with caution, and slow down especially at night.
Sunday, Nov. 1, marks the end of daylight saving time in Colorado. This means drivers will set their clocks back an hour, see dusk earlier, and witness more wild animals migrating to their wintering habitats during rush hour traffic on highways.
As the sunlight fades during high-volume commutes, Colorado Parks and Wildlife asks drivers to stay alert and share roads with wildlife. Autumn is peak seasonal mating and migration for many species, so drivers should watch for wildlife as they begin to experience darker commutes.
The Colorado Department of Transportation also advises motorists to stay vigilant, drive with caution and slow down, especially now that several snowstorms have taken place and pushed wildlife from the high country into lower elevations.
In an effort to decrease the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions in Colorado, CDOT has collaborated with CPW to study, gather data and construct migration structures designed for wildlife to safely cross busy highways. Migration structures include wildlife overpasses, underpasses, escape ramps, and wildlife guards and high fences along highways.
Although Colorado is working to construct more safe passageways for wildlife on highways, motorists still play a critical role in preventing wildlife-vehicle collisions. CPW and CDOT offer several precautions that should be followed year-round, but especially during the fall daylight saving time change.
Slow down. Moderate speeds maintain a driver’s reaction time and allow an appropriate response to animals on or near roads.
Stay alert. Pay close attention to the roadway, particularly between dusk and dawn.
Scan ahead. Watch for movement and shining eyes along roadsides.
Obey traffic signs. Many highways have wildlife warning signs intended to alert motorists of known wildlife movement areas. Though incidents can happen anywhere, transportation authorities attempt to reduce the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions by posting signage and lowering speeds in areas where wildlife are active.