Coming across wildlife while driving is not uncommon, especially when driving close to the mountains, woods, or countryside. Drivers can come across all kinds of animals including deer, moose, elk, horses, cows, and even bears. Even though these events are not common, drivers should stay alert as these scary situations can develop in split seconds. Animal-related collisions can result in serious damage to your vehicle, but more importantly, injuries to yourself and passengers. Unfortunately, in some cases, these types of collisions can prove to be fatal.
These tips will help you stay aware and remain calm while hopefully avoiding collisions the next time you come across any wildlife on the road.
Look Out For Signs
Look out for yellow traffic signs on the side of the road. These signs are placed in highly trafficked areas by wildlife and should be your first warning.
Always stay alert of your surroundings, especially near the mountains or wood areas. Look ahead to avoid any sudden movements.
Always stay within the speed limit, especially if you’re in an area prone to wildlife. Slow down briefly while in the area to give yourself enough time to break if you come across an animal. This will also make your vehicle easier to maneuver.
Stay Alert During Dusk and Dawn
Wildlife is more active during dusk and dawn, this is also the time with less visibility on the road so stay aware during these times. Use your brights to increase your visibility, but be courteous to other drivers and turn them off to nearby oncoming traffic.
Keep Time Of The Year In Mind
Wildlife is constantly on the move. During mating season, animals will track smells in search of a mate. This tends to last from October to January. It’s also important to look out during the springtime, as families are more likely to be moving around.
Watch For Herds
Speaking of families, animals usually travel in packs. If you come across an animal on the road there is more than likely another one close by. Wait a few seconds before proceeding to make sure no other animals are trailing behind.
Use Your Horn
If you spot an animal in the distance, slow down and honk your horn. This might scare the animal away from the road.
Use The Center Lane
If you are able, use the center lane of the road. This will give you a better chance to react to any wildlife entering from either side of the road.
Brake and Remain In Your Lane
If a collision is inevitable do not swerve out of the way. Even though trying to avoid hitting the animal might be a natural instinct, swerving out of the way might result in a worse outcome. Hitting another vehicle, losing control of your car, or hitting a tree will result in worse damage than hitting an animal most of the time. Hit your brakes firmly and reduce your speed as much as possible. Ease up on the brakes once you make contact in order to avoid having the animal go through your windshield.
Suffered a Collision?
Encountering wildlife on the road can be a scary and tense situation, therefore, staying aware of your surroundings is key in avoiding collisions. Some things are out of our control, and accidents can happen in a matter of seconds.If you’ve suffered a collision Ric’s Body & Paint will be there for you. Whether you have minor dents or major damage to your vehicle, our experienced technicians will carefully repair or replace all damaged parts back to the manufacturer’s specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our wide range of collision repair services.