Dark Hours Ahead: Fall’s Clock Change Amplifies Deer Danger on Illinois Roads


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MANTENO, Ill. – As fall casts its longer, cooler shadows, an unsettling reminder emerged on Route 45 just north of Manteno. An adult doe lay unattended in the northbound lane, near County Line Road, Tuesday morning. The sight, haunting against the backdrop of harvest-ready fields, endured past noon.

The somber scene serves as only a precursor to a graver threat lurking in the weeks ahead. With U.S. clocks set to roll back an hour soon, research warns of heightened deer-vehicle collisions. A recent study published in Current Biology unveiled that the week following this fall’s time adjustment may see a 16% spike in such tragic encounters.

Daylight saving criticisms aren’t new, yet now, with a rise in deer-related accidents, the debate intensifies. The study, led by University of Washington researchers, indicates that if the U.S. abandoned the biannual clock switch, we might prevent 36,550 accidents, avert 33 human fatalities, and save $1.2 billion yearly. Nationwide, a staggering 2.1 million deer-vehicle collisions occur annually, leading to $10 billion in economic losses, 59,000 injuries, and hundreds of heart-wrenching deaths.

For Manteno drivers, the doe’s solemn silhouette on Route 45 isn’t just a reminder of nature’s course, but a clarion call to be vigilant during the darker hours ahead.


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