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Steer Clear: Wildlife collisions rise as daylight savings time sets in

Toronto, Ontario — As daylight savings time comes into effect and we in North America enjoy our extra hour of sleep, an antlered antagonist settles into its hiding spot, ready for its mission as one of god’s cute little kamikaze missiles.

Deer cause more than one million auto accidents in the U.S. every year, costing more than a billion dollars in property damage in the process, according to Ecology and Society.

As well, studies have shown that 80 percent of collisions with wildlife occur under the cover of night, particularly around dusk, when many drivers are tired and commuting home from work under partial darkness.

According to professor of biology at Clarkson University, Tom Langen, “The clock shift results in more commuters on the road during the high-risk dusk hours. The consequence is more cars driving at the peak time of day and during the peak time of the year for deer-vehicle accidents. The clock shift results in a 37 percent reduction in deer-vehicle accidents during morning commuter hours, since fewer commuters are on the road before sunrise, but a 72 percent increase in accidents during evening commuter hours.”

The fall season also marks the deer mating season, where bucks go out searching for does en masse, thereby increasing the frequency of deer roaming near roadways.

Experts warn that wildlife can strike at any time, however, and that motorists should always have an eye on their peripherals in case an animal makes an appearance.

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