Two drivers escaped injury Friday night following a vehicle-wildlife collision on Interstate 5 three mile south of Creswell. Oregon State Police (OSP), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) urge motorists to be extra alert for wildlife on or near our roads.
Friday evening a Honda Accord, driven by a 60-year old male, was southbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 179 when the driver saw a deer standing on the right fog line. As the driver began to slow, the deer ran across the highway where the car hit it head-on. A large SUV coming up from behind rear ended the car.
The drivers were not injured and both cars were towed from the scene. The deer was killed.
According to ODOT, over the past 10 years, more than a third of the total ‘vehicle vs wildlife’ crashes occurred September through November. During this season, OSP, ODOT and ODFW urge all drivers to be aware of the dangers associated with animals on or near our highways. Extra vigilance is required. The following information may help reduce these incidents:
* The annual deer breeding season typically lasts from late October to mid-to-late November, increasing deer activity in and around roadways.
* During the next few months darkness will come sooner reducing visibility complicated frequently by ice or snow.
* Be attentive at all times – especially sunset to sunrise.
* When driving in areas that have special signs indicating the possible presence of animals/wildlife, please use extra caution because these signs are posted for a reason.
* Be extra careful in areas where there is a lot of vegetation next to the road or while going around curves. Wildlife near the road may not be visible.
* Remember that the presence of any type of animal/wildlife could also mean that others are nearby.
* When you see an animal/wildlife near or on the roadway, reduce your speed and try to stay in your lane. Many serious crashes are the result of drivers swerving to avoid wildlife or other obstacles and they crash into another vehicle or lose control of their own vehicle.
* The same advice applies for smaller wildlife like nutria or raccoons. Try to stay in your lane and do not swerve for these animals. They are less dangerous to vehicles than big game animals – losing control of your vehicle is a larger concern.
* Always wear your seat belt, as even the slightest collision can result in serious injuries.