Skip to Content

Look for Livestock

In addition to deer and other wildlife, you might encounter cattle on rural roads. Much of Utah is open range, which allows cattle on all land that is not privately owned, including many roadways.


Do you know what a black cow looks like on a rural road at night?
Here's what one looks like during the day time.

It’s not only in open range areas where you may encounter cattle on the road. They can find holes in fences and sometimes break through them.

They’re just another large, unpredictable — and sometimes hard to see — animal that may appear on Utah’s rural roads.

If you’re in open range or areas with cattle pastures, be sure that you:

  • Slow down

especially at night.

  • Scan, Scan, Scan
  • Don’t outdrive your headlights

they’re the only thing lighting your way on dark roads, and you need to see animals long before your car reaches them.

What is Open Range?

Open range in Utah is defined as “all land not privately owned, and includes all roads, outside of private inclosures, used by the public, whether the same have been formally dedicated to the public or not.” That’s a lot of land and roads in Utah. And if you hit a head of cattle there, past court decisions have determined that the car owner pays for the damage to the car and cow.

The courts have said that drivers need to yield to cattle in open range.

You can find more information about auto-livestock collisions here.