It's always wise to observe the speed limit in national parks, and even slow down more after sunset. Proof of that comes from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, where three bison were killed when a truck plowed into them after dark.
The recent accident happened when the pickup truck, which was towing a trailer with a car on it, couldn't stop in time to avoid the animals, according to park officials.
"This time of year we see an increase in large vehicles driving through the park," said park Superintendent Vidal Davila. "These heavier vehicles have longer stopping distances even when driving the speed limit. When combined with animals on the road and visitors stopping unexpectedly to view the wildlife, it shows the need for everyone to drive with caution."
Each year, three or four bison are killed along park roadways. These large animals can be very difficult to see at night as their brown fur blends into the surrounding darkness. Fall is another time when bison can be found on roadways, as salt spread to melt ice attracts them. Last October a motorist ran into one after dark.
The park has a bison herd of approximately 400 animals. This year is the one-hundredth anniversary of the reintroduction of the bison to Wind Cave National Park.