Animal-vehicle collisions are not only costly but can be dangerous. In the states of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, it is estimated that more than 149,000 animal-vehicle collisions resulting in more than 100 deaths occur each year.
Fall is here and winter is approaching, this is the time of year when most animal-vehicle collisions happen. Whether it’s a deer, squirrel, or dog; animals on the roadway are unexpected and their actions can be erratic and unpredictable, creating dangerous situations for drivers. We encourage drivers to use caution and be alert to avoid a collision with wildlife.
What To Do If An Animal Runs In Front Of Your Vehicle
Scan the road and shoulders ahead of you.
Looking ahead can help provide enough reaction time if an animal is spotted. Remember some animals travel in groups, so if you see one that usually means there are more in the area.
Use your high-beam headlights if there is no oncoming traffic.
You might be able to spot any wildlife sooner when you use high beams. This will give you time to slow down, move over or honk to scare the animal away. High beams can also help in spotting some animals’ reflective eyes.
Apply the brakes and remain in your lane, if a collision is unavoidable.
Swerving to avoid the animal can often cause a serious crash or result in losing control of your vehicle.
Keep your eyes one especially at dawn and dusk.
Most animals, especially deer, are more active early in the morning and at dusk.
If you are traveling through an area with a high or active wildlife population, slow down and use extra caution.
Be aware of the increased wildlife movement during hunting and mating seasons.
Always wear your seat belt, stay awake, alert and sober while you are driving.
As the animal population continues to grow, animal-vehicle collisions will continue to be a hazard. We can’t totally avoid these collisions but we can minimize the number, damage and injuries to animals and people by following these tips.
Stay safe and enjoy the fall weather