Car v. Wildlife Collisions Are On The Rise, But Animal Populations Are Stable. Smart Phones?

One recent early morning I checked the newspaper, online of course, to catch up on the news before heading to Portland for a Social Security hearing.  One story focused on the increased frequency of car v. animal collisions in Oregon in recent years.  The "experts" were not sure of the cause.  Animal populations were not booming, and in some cases, on a slight downturn.  The speculation was that there are more cars on the road, which makes sense, and that people are much more distracted with smart phones in the car, which makes even more sense.  Perhaps increased development is pushing deer and elk toward the road as well.

I left for Portland, and driving through the South end of Warrenton, there it was; a fawn sprinting for its life right down the middle of Highway 101.  It was not looking to cross the road, but was headed due North at a high rate of speed.  Everyone slowed, and as far as I know, the fawn survived.  There is no doubt that if I or any other motorist out on the road that dark morning had our faces in our phone screens, something bad would have happened.

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