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ODOT and ODFW Urge Drivers To Watch For Wildlife Crossings This Fall

Close encounters of the deer and Honda kind isn’t what most of us are looking for this fall season. That’s why we’re teaming up with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to ask you to watch out for wildlife this time of year and follow these tips:

  • Be careful when driving in areas that have special signs warning you about the possible presence of wildlife. These signs are posted for a reason.
  • Be alert in areas with dense vegetation along the road or while going around curves. Wildlife near the road can be hard to see.
  • If you see one animal, stay alert. There may be others nearby.
  • If you see wildlife on or near the road, slow down and stay in your lane. Many serious crashes happen when drivers lose control as they swerve to avoid wildlife.

The same advice applies to smaller wildlife like raccoons; try to stay in your lane and do not swerve for these animals. They are less dangerous to your vehicle than big game animals and maintaining control while driving is most important.

Always wear your seat belt. Even minor collisions can result in serious injuries.

To increase safety, we’re partnering with organizations to reduce vehicle-wildlife collisions by building wildlife crossings. These crossings allow wildlife to safely follow their migration patterns over or under a road.

Wildlife crossings on US 97 near Sunriver have reduced vehicle-wildlife collisions by nearly 90 percent!

Last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress provides $350 million in competitive grants to states for wildlife crossings and other mitigation, so expect that we’ll continue to work with our partners on securing more funds for future projects.

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