Drivers: watch for wildlife

RBC I The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) are reminding drivers throughout the state to be extra cautious right now and especially watchful of moose, elk, deer, pronghorn and even bears wandering on roads and highways.
Because wildlife is more active this time of the year, as they are mating and preparing for winter, the potential for wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) increases.
A woman from New Castle was killed earlier this month after the vehicle she was in struck a cow moose that ran onto I-70 near Frisco. Because there was a bull moose nearby, wildlife managers believe that rutting behavior may have caused the cow to run onto the interstate.
Although severe damage to vehicles from collisions with deer or elk is a common occurrence throughout
Colorado, wildlife managers warn that hitting a moose can be especially dangerous.
“Because they are so tall and heavy, most cars that collide with a moose are totaled and the animal often lands on the passenger compartments,” Shepherd said. “We caution drivers to do all they can to avoid hitting any animal, especially a moose.”
Officials also remind drivers that it will soon get dark earlier when daylight savings time ends in November, resulting in more commuters on the roads when wildlife is most active.
“This is the time of year when it is especially important for drivers to be cautious by obeying speed limits, being aware of their surroundings and observing signs warning of wildlife activity,” said CPW Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde. “For their own safety, people need to stay alert and watch the roads carefully.”
During wildlife migration season, motorists are urged to follow these important safety tips:
1. Slow down and stay alert, especially through these and other signed wildlife crossing areas;
2. Scan the roadway and roadsides ahead for signs of movement; watch for shining eyes of animals that reflect car headlights at night;
3. Do not swerve but rather brake gradually, maintaining control of the vehicle.