Wildlife on the move, pay attention when driving, Nevada officials warn
The Nevada Departments of Transportation and Wildlife and the Nevada Highway Patrol are reminding motorists to drive safely in wildlife-prone areas with the onset of spring animal migration.
“This time of year, many big game animals including mule deer, elk, and pronghorn begin their spring migrations. As snow melts and spring ‘green-up’ occurs, many of these animals will follow the green vegetation. Often these movements occur over large landscapes and cross multiple jurisdictions including private and public lands,” said NDOW Wildlife Staff Specialist Cody Schroeder. “Animals will often cross roadways during their migration in search of forage. They are most at risk for vehicle collisions during the early mornings and late evenings, but wildlife-vehicle collisions can also happen throughout the day.”
“A crash involving a large deer or animal can be dangerous, and in some cases even deadly, to motorists,” Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Hannah DeGoey said. “Motorists should always drive carefully, particularly in wildlife-prone areas. Look for deer crossing signs and scan the road ahead for potential wildlife.”
NDOT has conducted extensive evaluation of the most concentrated and critical areas of vehicle-animal collisions statewide, providing opportunities for potential future signage and improvements. This summer, NDOT will install four additional advisory signs advising drivers of the potential of deer crossing on U.S. 395 in Reno’s North Valleys.
Wildlife zone driving tips
· Obey all speed limits, traffic signs and regulations.
· Wear seatbelts and limit distractions while driving.
· Heed animal warning signs. Be alert for the potential of wildlife, particularly where wildlife warning signs are posted.
· Actively scan all sides of the road as you drive and look for any signs of wildlife. One potential sign of wildlife is glowing or red eyes that become visible as vehicle headlights bounce off the eyes of animals.
· Adjust driving speeds if necessary to help reduce the chance and impact of an animal collision.
· Remember that many crashes are not due to colliding with wildlife but are the result of driving into another car or truck in the opposite lane while trying to avoid colliding with the animal.
· Herd animals such as deer and elk travel in groups. If you see one deer, there is a strong likelihood that others may be nearby or in other locations along the road.
· Use your vehicle’s high beams at night to view the roadway ahead when there is no oncoming traffic.