The end of daylight saving time may be associated with an increased risk of wildlife-related crashes, and motorists in New Jersey and other states should take note. According to the department of transportation in one western state, an average of 3,300 animal-vehicle collisions are reported each year with property damage exceeding $3,400 on average. Shorter daylight hours make animals on the move more difficult to see during prime travel times regardless of locale, so drivers everywhere may want to take extra care to avoid an accident.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises motorists to change their driving habits when they change their clocks. From an increased use of seatbelts to increased vigilance on streets and byways, the agency's published list of precautions could help drivers across the nation avoid dangerous encounters with wild animals on the roadway. Motorists may especially want to remember that the return to standard time occurs during the peak mating season for many types of wild animals, including deer. During this time, animals may be more oblivious to oncoming vehicular traffic than ever, placing both humans and animals at increased risk for serious injury and death.
On occasion, the most cautious of drivers may find themselves involved in a serious accident due to a motorist who has failed to travel responsibly in areas where animals may be active. A disregard of wildlife signage or swerving at high speeds in order to avoid hitting an animal could ultimately prove to be deadly to other drivers on the roadway.
A driver who fails to maintain reaction time could be held accountable in some situations. A resident of New Jersey who suffers a car accident injury due to negligence on the part of another party may be entitled to financial compensation for the loss. In some cases, a personal injury lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement with a liable party's insurer on the client's behalf.