With daylight standard time, risk for wildlife crashes goes up

Drivers in West Virginia have probably noticed that their evening commutes are more and more shrouded in darkness. The end of daylight saving time comes with an increased risk of wildlife-related accidents because many wild animals are most active between dusk and dawn. Deer are especially active since autumn is their peak mating season, and bears will be looking for food before hibernation.

The Colorado Department of Transportation receives, on average, 3,300 wildlife collision reports every year. The department stated that more reports are filed in November than in any other month. The vehicle damage that results from these accidents, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, costs each driver an average of $3,400.

Experts have several tips that drivers should follow to prevent wildlife collisions. Wherever wildlife poses a danger, which is typically indicated by signs posted by transportation authorities, drivers should watch out for movement and shining eyes on the side of the road. Drivers should maintain moderate speeds; that way, they can decrease their reaction time should an animal cross the road. When one does, drivers should stop and either honk the horn or flash the headlights, or do both, in order to keep other animals from following. Seat belts are essential; they reduce the risk of serious injuries and death by half in case of an accident.

Negligent driving can become especially deadly when wildlife enters the equation. Swerving out of the way of wildlife and into the other lane, for example, can lead to a head-on collision. Victims of such accidents may wish to consult with an attorney about filing a claim. A lawyer could bring in investigators and other third parties to reconstruct the accident scene and determine how negligent both parties were. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for a settlement or litigate if negotiations fall through.

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