By Montana Grant

Posted: November 10, 2022

Critter collisions can be fatal to humans and the critters. Traveling at speed and colliding with a large deer, elk, moose, or… can destroy a vehicle, kill the critter, and injure the passengers in the car or truck.

A recent study from Washington University stated that making Daylight Savings Time permanent would decrease deer and animal impacts/ collisions. Their logic is based on the amount of daylight in the morning and evening hours. Their conclusion is if we eliminate Daylight Savings Time, drivers will kill less critters on our roadways.

Insurance companies encourage higher deer harvest. From there perspective fewer deer means less chance for encounters. This means less payouts for damaged vehicles. In many states, deer harvests are created by using Snipers or promoting large legal hunter limits to decrease deer and other critter population sizes.

Many organizations seem to be intent on getting rid of Daylight Savings Time. This may just be another example. The truth is that critters are most active during low light conditions in the mornings and evenings. The highest times of Critter Collisions is during the Rut when critters are pursuing mates. Deer chase each other and disregard other dangers.

Nothing is perfect. There are deer that just seem to have a Death Wish. They bound into the roadway and cause an accident. Rut crazed critters, animals chased by predators or dogs, are running without paying attention.

The study also said that humans are also affected by lose of sleep during the clock changes. They need to adapt and adjust to the new schedule. Humans are also tired for a variety of reasons. Daylight Savings Time is designed to allow humans to travel to work in more light. We can’t change the revolution of the Earth around the Sun, but we can try to time what limited sunlight there is to happen when we are active.

Education for human driving behavior makes more sense. Technology may be helpful. Vehicle sensors can see accidents before they happen. Roadway barriers, critter crossways, and other technology can discourage critters from getting onto the road. Enforcing distracted driving laws can help. Cellphones, drugs, alcohol, and road rage, create moments when drivers are less aware. Reminding drivers of seasonal habits and migrations of critters is also important.

Not everyone believes in Deer Whistles on a car. These small whistles produce a high frequency sound that deer can hear and hopefully react to. Studies show that they do not work. These whistles do need some maintenance such as clearing out snow, ice, or dead bugs. When functioning they are designed to warn deer that a vehicle is approaching. I have successfully used these whistles for decades. Most of my deer encounters are with deer watching me approach from the side of the road.

No one intentionally wants to wreck their rides and cause harm to critters and people. They just forget about the risks. Defensive driving is smarter and safer driving.

Take a Crash course on paying more attention when driving! Especially in low light and seasonal Rut!

Montana Grant

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