Going on a road trip is always fun. We have been posting tips on where to go, how to get ready before leaving home and how to keep your car in good shape.
We all know how watchful we have to be when driving. If we are not careful with our life, our passengers, pedestrians, other drivers, and even wildlife might be at risk.
Every time we drive, especially on roads such as Colorado’s I-25 Castle Rock to Larkspur, I-70 at Floyd Hill/Mt. Vernon Canyon or US 285 at Morrison, –to mention a few-, we need to pay extra attention to the road because a wild animal might cross your path in a blink of an eye.
From August all the way up to December is a high-traffic time for wildlife moving from one part of their habitats to another; while they breed and forage for food.
According to Colorado Department of Transportation’s latest statistics, between 1995 and 2005 there were 30,245 animal-vehicle collisions on Colorado’s roadways. Twenty-nine of the crashes resulted in fatalities—2,505 resulted in injuries and 27,711 resulted in property damage.
The situation is also becoming one of the major threats for at least 21 threatened or endangered species in the United States, according to Montana State University.
The most important thing drivers can do to protect themselves and wildlife are slow down, especially because it is not recommended to swerve. In fact, experts state that it is better to hit the animal than to swerve. Swerving may land you in the path of another car or off the road in a ditch.
Driving at a leisurely speed will provide you enough time to react and stop the car. Of course, don’t forget to switch the hazard lights on, so the rest of the cars can see you are going to stop completely.
If you see wildlife beside the road, slow down and pass carefully as they may suddenly bolt onto the road. Pay attention to the yellow wildlife warning signs that indicate an area of increased risk.
Once you spot a wild animal on the road, scan ahead and watch for movement along the roadside, animals often travel in groups. Be aware of their abrupt change of direction.
Last, but surely not least, don’t litter! This is not only a high source of pollution, but it also attracts animals, increasing the probabilities of crashing against one.
Drive safely; protect your life, the ones surrounding you and all the wildlife that shares the plant with us.