Temperatures are warming up in Colorado Springs, which means one thing: bear season has begun. In Douglas County on April 8, a bear was caught on security camera roaming the streets, and recently, Colorado Parks and Wildlife shared a photo of a bear attempting to break into homes and cars.
It’s not uncommon for cars to approach homes to go through trash cans and seek out food that has been left out in the open, which is why CPW often reminds neighborhoods to keep locks on their trash cans and take down their bird feeders. Bears have been known to damage vehicles and break into homes. But what happens when they—or other wildlife—wander onto the road?
Wildlife is, unfortunately, killed more by cars than in any other way by humans. Cars could come into contact with animals on the road quickly when they turn corners and it’s too late to swerve, or when deer or birds suddenly leap or fly into harm’s way. Animal collisions pose a risk to wildlife as well as drivers and passengers.
Below are some guidelines to follow in order to protect yourselves and any animals, including bears, you might encounter on the road:
- Watch out for wildlife warning signs: In some areas, especially near forests and rural zones, there are signs warning drivers about deer and other wildlife that are known to roam the region. When you see these signs, slow down and be extra cautious.
- Use extra caution at night: Many animals may be on the road or foraging roadside at night when there are fewer humans out and about, but unfortunately, this can be extra dangerous for drivers. Make sure your headlights are on at night, as bears are dark animals and very difficult to spot in the dark.
- Consider whether it’s safe to swerve: One of the most natural instincts when coming into contact with wildlife on the road is to swerve to avoid hitting them, but unfortunately, this can be dangerous and cause accidents if there are others on the road. Though it’s important to try not to harm animals, law enforcement officials say that sometimes hitting the animal is the best way to protect yourself and nearby drivers or pedestrians.
- Don’t stop to watch the wildlife: Sometimes if there is a pack of animals on the road, you have no other choice but to stop and wait for them to pass. However, it’s generally unsafe to stop to view the wildlife, as this can stress them out and also create dangerous road conditions. It’s also important to know that animals are prone to unpredictable behavior and you should always maintain a safe distance from them—especially bears.
What to Do If an Animal is Hit on the Road
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to prevent a collision with an animal on the road. If you or someone else hit an animal and human injuries or vehicle damage was involved, called the police. You may need to inspect your vehicle to determine whether or not you need it towed and assess if you need medical attention.
If there’s a dead animal to report, call the local wildlife agency or rescue service. If the animal is alive, the rescue service can assist with the safe removal and possible rehoming of the animal.
Did a Human Cause Your Car Crash?
Though wildlife is known to get tangled up in collisions from time to time, especially in Colorado Springs, most car accidents are caused by human error. If you were injured by a negligent driver, Clawson & Clawson, LLP can apply our 100+ years of experience and success to your unique case. Our car accident attorneys have helped victims throughout the state obtain the compensation they need to pay for their medical bills and car repairs after accidents and can help you do the same.
Whether your crash was caused by speeding, distracted driving, or drunk driving, you can count on us to gather evidence, file your paperwork, and ensure that insurance companies don’t attempt to take advantage of you or give you any less than what you’re entitled to.
Contact our team online or call (719) 602-5888 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation with our car accident attorneys in Colorado Springs.