OUTDOORS & RECREATION

DWR urges drivers to slow down due to daylight saving time

Oct 23, 2023, 6:37 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2023, 9:47 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Nov. 5 is the start of shorter days and longer hours, meaning a dark commute to and from work, with less visibility. November is also when Utah sees the highest number of deer crashes.

Blair Stringham, migration initiative coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said as the temperature drops, wildlife is journeying to the valleys to find food.

“They are being more active. They are also a lot more likely to run into us or be hit by cars,” Stringham said.

DWR said migration for deer is during April, May, October and November, which means there could soon be a deer in your headlights.

“The highest likelihood of hitting a deer is kind of that sawn and dusk time frame it when we can’t see very well,” Stringham said. “It’s when deer are moving to find bedding areas to the bed of the day or to move to their feeding sights, so we caution people to slow down, especially if you are in an area where you know deer are more likely to be.”

As of mid-October, DWR reported over 3,000 crashes involving deer in Utah. There are usually around 10,000 of these crashes every year.

“There’s definitely a safety component for us as well as animals on the roadways,” Stringham said. “Another big factor is finances, so the estimates are several million dollars in damage to vehicles alone in Utah, so it can be big cost savings if you just pay attention.”

DWR has some tips to keep you and wildlife safe this fall.

  • Make sure you are alert while driving during all hours of the day.
  • Pay attention to wildlife crossing signs and never have any distractions behind the wheel.
  • If you hit an animal, pull off the road with your hazards on and call 9-1-1.

“A lot of our housing is right in deer habitat and as we see development along the Wasatch Front as we put in more roadways, more infrastructure,” Stringham said. “It’s going to be an ongoing issue, so the more we can learn to live with them and pay attention, the better off us and the deer will be.”

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DWR urges drivers to slow down due to daylight saving time