On Nov. 5th, Washington residents will set their clocks back an hour as day-light savings comes to an end.
But drivers should be cautious of deer and other wildlife on the roads, says Madonna Luers, Public Information Officer at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Early November is prime mating seasons for deer, who will be out in force at the beginning of the month as they search for mates.
Deer usually start migrating from high elevation areas during October in search of foraging in lower elevations, where human development, including roads, are located.
From 2000 to 2004, The Department of Fish and Wildlife reviewed WSDOT data and determined that deer-vehicle collisions are higher where deer populations are most dense and where there is an increase in traffic. When deer begin migrating from higher elevations and roaming in search of mates, collisions are more likely to occur.
The shortening daylight hours only compounds the likelihood of collisions as drivers are forced to drive in dimmer light conditions.
“It’s a perfect storm,” said Luers.
Collisions are most likely to occur in areas with posted speed limits of greater than 50 miles per hour. Collision counts are lower on roads with more curves. Straighter roads are associated with higher collision counts.