You’re Most Likely to Hit an Animal in THIS Part of Cochise County
According to Car Insurance.com, the chance of hitting an animal in Arizona, when compared to 49 other states, is pretty low. In fact, Arizona weighs in at number 47.
Chances of Hitting an Animal
We have about a 1 in 301 chance of running into a critter on the road here in Arizona. That's pretty low, when you consider West Virginia, which holds the number one spot. When you drive around West Virginia, drivers have a 1 in 37 chance of colliding with an animal. At that rate, it seems like every driver would hit something nearly once a month!
Be Careful Driving HERE
While the chances of hitting an animal in Arizona is low, it's still not zero. Cochise County is renowned for its dark skies, which is great for astronomers, but may be a challenge for anyone driving at night.
Especially on highways, like Highways 80, 90 and 92, and on Interstate 10, the increased rate of speed combined with dark roads can up the odds an animal-vehicle collision.
Watch for Deer
Many years ago, while driving back to Sierra Vista from Bisbee, a deer stepped out onto the pavement as our car was approaching Hereford Road. Suddenly a deer stepped into in front my car. As I was slowing down, missing the deer, another one came up right behind it. Thankfully, we were slowing down, but that didn't prevent the collision.
We got the car repaired, only to have it happen again as we were returning from Tucson, about a year and a half later. Having just exited Interstate 10, we were driving down Highway 90 toward Fort Huachuca. Just before Karchner Caverns on a rainy night, it happened again. First one deer, then another. You guessed it. We hit the second one.
It's Not Just Deer
Deer mating season, or rut takes place in Arzona from late September to December, and usually peaks in October. This is critical time to be careful, because deer are more likely to be on the move, looking for love.
But Deer are not the only animals to look out for. Groups of javelina, as well as coyotes, and other animals can leave a mark on your vehicle if you collide.
Arizona Open Range Law
While fewer ranchers allow livestock to roam freely on the open range these day, open ranges still exist, especially in some of the more rural parts of Cochise County, like Willcox and Safford.
Even in areas where fences and barbed wire exist, there have been times where the fences are damaged, and cattle just make themselves at home in the roadway.
I even saw a big steer jump, clumsily, over a barbed wire fence. The big, black-as-night bovine was barely visible as I made my way to work in the wee morning hours before sunrise. The animal nearly b
lending into the background. Fortunately, I saw it in time, and it jumped back across the fence as I was calling the sheriff's office.
According to the University of Arizona Coopertive Extension, Arizona has range laws, and they don't favor drivers. According to the Natural Resource Users Law and Policy Center, "If livestock are killed in an open range area, whether it is an accident or not, a person may be liable to the owner for damages."
So, in all likelihood, if you hit a cow, you just bought a cow. Be extra careful driving in dark places in Cochise County.