This week marks something called Watch Out For Wildlife Week, and because of the designation, numerous agencies from across California are attempting to get motorists to be cautious when driving along roads that are typically privy to attempts to cross by animals. Caltrans, the University of California-Davis’s Road Ecology Center, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are working jointly for the initiative, and a report has been released that delves into their various efforts.
In 2010, the California Highway Patrol estimates that instances of a vehicle striking an animal on a road contributed to property damage worth $1 billion across the state. In total, they were able to take note of 1,800 incidents that same year. And the Defenders of Wildlife organization believes that 200 fatalities of humans and 1.5 million fatalities of animals occur each year due to these accidents.
To help avert these types of serious incidents, the CDFW and Caltrans are asking all drivers to increase their alertness levels when they’re traveling through areas subject o increased wildlife levels. Should you identify an incoming animal, then you should use extreme caution, understanding that animals travel in packs and that there might be another right behind it. You can help out your fellow drivers by avoiding littering, which can lure wildlife out onto the roads.
These precautions, combined with safety efforts in place in San Luis Obispo and San Diego and Sierra Counties, will hopefully boost safety statewide.