Wildlife-related accidents increase in November


DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- Authorities say that the month of November has proven to be the most dangerous in the state when it comes to wildlife related crashes.

Oregon State Police, ODOT and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are teaming up to warn drivers of the increased potential of deer or elk on the roadways.

ODOT's reporting system says that more than 5,100 crashes involving deer or elk were reported on Oregon roads between 2007 and 2011. Authorities say that number is probably higher when you factor in non-reported minor crashes.

November sees an average of 142 wildlife related crashes in the month of November.

Officials say with the annual deer rut season starting soon, the chances deer will be more active near roadways are pretty high. Authorities say this is coupled with the fact that during the next few months, there will be less daylight and visibility on the roads decreases.

So what can you do to increase your odds of avoiding a wildlife related crash?

  • Don't swerve. Authorities say that if you see an animal on or near the road, decrease your speed and try to stay in your lane. Many serious crashes are the result of drivers swerving to miss an animal.

  • Be attentive, especially from sunset to sunrise.

  • Pay extra attention in areas where there is a lot of vegetation next to the road.

  • Look for the signs. Authorities say that special signs are posted for a reason in high wildlife areas.

  • Always wear your seat belt. Officials say even a slight collision could result in injuries.