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Drivers warned to take caution on rural roads

EUREKA- More traffic collisions with wildlife occur in this area than any other place in California, according the California Highway Patrol.

CHP officials are warning drivers to take caution when traveling throughout the county, after a collision on Highway 36 Wednesday that left a motorcycle driver with serious injuries.

According to the CHP, drivers on Highway 36, Highway 299 and narrow sections of Highway 101 are most at risk of hitting wildlife. When traveling in rural areas motorists are encouraged to drive slowly, keep your headlights on, even during the daytime, use your headlights’ bright setting when there is no oncoming traffic, and stay aware. Deer and other wildlife most commonly cross roadways at night, so motorists should take extra precautions when traveling during those hours.

if you are in a car or a truck and an animal suddenly steps into the road, CHP officials say do not swerve out of the way. Rather, slow down and keep driving straight.

“If you hit a deer your chances are very good of coming out uninjured,” said Matt Harvey, Public Information Officer for the California Highway Patrol. “If you try to swerve to avoid the deer it could end up much worse for you.”

However, if you are driving a motorcycle in those areas, officials say to take extra caution, slow down and try to avoid the animal if possible.

Motorists that do collide with wildlife should find a safe place to pull over, inspect your car for damages and call the California Highway Patrol to move the animal.