Deer in the headlights
Wildlife on the move presents a hazard to motorists
November 9, 2009
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department urges motorists to pay special attention for animals along roadways as wildlife are in mating seasons and moving to winter ranges. Many big game animals are most active at dusk, which is just the time when many people are driving home from work and visibility is poor.
"At best, you end up with a dead animal and several hundred dollars in vehicle damage," said Robin Kepple, information specialist with the Game and Fish Department. "And the sad thing is, many times, it could have been avoided by just slowing down a little. A lot of times motorists see deer grazing alongside the road but still go blazing by at 60 or 70 miles per hour like the animals are not even there. The only way to avoid collisions with wildlife is to slow down and watch out for them. You can save yourself some expense and save a wild animal just by slowing down."
Below are tips for driving with wildlife in mind:
• Slow down!
• Expect wildlife on our roads.
• Scan the sides of the roads for wildlife.
• Stay alert while driving at dusk, dawn and at night and be prepared to stop.
• At night travel at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if an animal comes into your headlights.
• If you see one elk, deer or antelope along the roadway, you are likely to see more.
• If you see an animal on the road expect the unexpected. They do not instinctively know how to react to your car.
• Give the animal time and room to move off the road. Do not try to out-run it.
• If you see a wildlife crossing sign, pay attention. It is there for a reason.
• Do not swerve to miss an animal. Steer towards the animal's hindquarters, as they most often will move forward.
If you are involved in a wildlife/vehicle collision and the animal is still alive, contact the Wyoming Game and Fish Department at (307) 332-2688 or 877-WGFD-TIP, or local law enforcement personnel. Do not attempt to kill the animal yourself.