Colorado wildlife on the move! Officials remind drivers to be on the lookout

FOX21 File Photo

STATEWIDE — Motorists across Colorado are being reminded to pay attention to wild animals crossing the roads.

Deb, an employee with CDOT, hit a deer in early April when she was traveling on Highway 160 near Mancos.

“Well, that deer actually hit me,” Deb said. “I did not have a moment to react! This doe was running full-force and ran right into my front end. I pulled over only to find my hood bent, fender damaged and headlight gone. I realize this could have been a life-threatening situation and I’m certain this will result in a couple thousand dollars in damage.”

Colorado State Patrol Captain Adrian Driscoll had some advice to share with motorists.

“Be aware, drive with caution, and slow down, especially at dusk and dawn, when the majority of animals are active and wildlife vehicle collisions (WVCs) occur ― just like Deb’s crash,” he said.

Driscoll added it’s best practice to be diligent and observant.

“If you see one deer or elk, expect others,” he said.

Scanning the sides of the road for movement and looking out for shining eyes of animals that reflect car headlights at night is also beneficial.

If a crash does happen, he says to “brake, look and steer.” Slow down and focus on maintaining control of the vehicle, be aware of your surroundings, especially other cars, and move to a safe position off the road.

To help prevent crashes with wildlife, CDOT partners with other agencies like Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to design and construct mitigation features along state roadways, identifying locations where these mitigation structures will be the most beneficial.

One project is the Colorado Highway 9 Colorado River South Wildlife and Safety Improvement Project south of Kremmling, which implemented several safety mitigation features along a 10.5-mile stretch. The project includes two wildlife overpasses, five wildlife underpasses, an 8-foot high wildlife exclusion fencing, wildlife escape ramps, and deer guards. The project was completed in 2016.



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