The Division of Wildlife Resources is warning drivers as the state enters the time of year with the highest number of collisions with animals.
Utahns will gain an extra hour of sleep Nov. 5 when residents set clocks back for the winter. That also means the sun sets sooner and driving visibility decreases.
The DWR says this time change can be one of the most dangerous seasons for drivers and deer during evening commutes. In the fall, more animals are on the roadways as big game migrate to lower elevations.
Deer are more active in the early mornings and evenings, which coincides with busy commute times and low-light conditions. To avoid wildlife collisions, Wild Aware Utah reminds drivers to be alert especially at dawn and dusk, heed all wildlife crossing signs, and use high-beam headlights when possible.
Deer travel in groups, if you see one, there is a good chance there will be more.
The most recent DWR study on deer-vehicle collisions in 2012 shows about 10,000 collisions that year. The DWR notes those numbers are likely lower now due to wildlife fencing and bridges installed along migration routes in recent years.
These safety measures were installed as part of the Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative founded in 2017. The group uses tracking data to locate migration routes and ensure wildlife crossings are constructed in those areas.
As of Oct. 17, the DWR reported 3,000 deer-vehicle collisions in Utah this year. In Summit County, two deer were hit and killed on state Route 224 Tuesday, Oct. 17. That stretch of road has already seen multiple deer and moose vehicle collisions this year.