California readers will set their clocks back on Nov. 5, bringing daylight saving time to an end. While this annual fall tradition gives Americans an extra hour of sleep, it also takes away an hour of daylight. This means that the risk of wildlife-related crashes could increase for motorists.
According to wildlife experts, deer enter peak mating season just as the fall time change occurs. Meanwhile, bears are also on the prowl for food before they go into hibernation. Most of this activity takes place during nighttime hours. As a result, some areas of the country report more wildlife-related car crashes during the month of November than during any other period of the year.
In order to avoid collisions with wildlife, safety advocates recommend that motorists slow down to give themselves more time to react if an animal crosses the road. They also recommend that drivers stay alert for wildlife, especially at night. By scanning the sides of the road, drivers might be able to see shining eyes or movement, which could help them anticipate an animal crossing into their path. If a driver sees an animal on or near the road, they are advised to slow down their vehicle or come to a complete stop. They can also flash their headlights or honk their horn to frighten the animal away. Finally, motorists are advised to always wear their seat belts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers can cut their risk of injury or death in half by buckling up.
Car accidents can cause serious injuries that require weeks or months of expensive medical care. In order to recover costs, an injured victim could choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash.