Shenandoah National Park is warning visitors to use caution while driving after several recent car crashes with bears.
The park has set up “Bear Collision Area” signs along Skyline Drive and is telling drivers to stick to the 35 mph speed limit. So far this season, there have been four bears hit by cars inside the park.
Officials say they have seen an increase in these types of crashes over the last three years with an average of 26 accidents per year.
“So if you’re going too fast, then when you come around a curve and a bear or any kind of animal is in the road, it doesn’t really give you enough time to slow down and make way for the animal,” said Shenandoah National Park management specialist Sally Hurlbert.
The park has also temporarily closed a portion of the Appalachian Trail overnight to protect visitors from bears.