Caltrans and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) remind motorists to remain alert for wildlife on roadways during Watch Out for Wildlife Week, which runs September 18-24.
"We urge motorists to remain alert and be cautious when traveling through wildlife areas, so our roadways will remain as safe as possible. Drivers can really make a difference in avoiding wildlife collisions, simply by being aware while driving and watching for wildlife crossing signs,” according to Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltrans
According to Defenders of Wildlife, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting native species and their natural communities, there are 725,000 to 1.5 million wildlife-vehicle collisions in the U.S. every year, resulting in more than 200 human fatalities. In California, between eight and 10 drivers and as many as 20,000 deer die in wildlife-vehicle collisions each year.
"Between now and December, deer and other wildlife are highly susceptible to vehicle collisions.
Deer will soon start their annual migrations to winter range, bucks will be preoccupied competing for mates, and bears will be searching for food in preparation for hibernation. Such natural behaviors can lead these animals into the way of unsuspecting drivers. Drivers can prevent collisions with animals by being careful and paying attention."