From a new website:
How Can Drivers Reduce the Chances of Having a Wildlife-Vehicle Collision?
Watch for the Signs
What do those signs really mean?
A Wildlife Warning Sign is a yellow diamond shaped sign. The sign warns of a
hazard ahead, and advises drivers to be cautious. The sign does not require
drivers to slow down to a particular speed, unless there is an adjacent
speed limit sign posted as well.
BC Ministry of Transportation collects and interprets data on collision
locations and places signs in areas of frequent wildlife use or high
accident risk locations.
Drivers must obey wildlife warning signs and any associated speed changes.
The signs are located in high wildlife use areas. Drivers must not disregard
the signs even if they have been seen many times before. Driver complacency
Speed is one of the most common factors in vehicle collisions.
Reduces the drivers ability to steer away from objects in the roadway
Extends the distance required to stop
Increases the force of impact, in the event of a collision
With good road conditions, drivers tend to increase their speed. Some
studies suggest that wildlife-vehicle collisions occur more than expected on
clear nights, on dry road conditions and on long straight stretches. Drivers
may tend to be more cautious on curves or in poor weather
By maintaining the posted speed, drivers can compensate for increased risk.
Think "What If...?"
Mental preparation is a useful tool.
Think about and predict what you might do if an animal suddenly darted out
in front of you or ran towards your vehicle.
It is better to think about and learn how to avoid an encounter with
wildlife, than have to react to a dangerous situation when you are
Drivers and passengers should actively watch for:
wildlife - on the road, in the ditch, on the shoulder, and in the right of
movement on or alongside the road
shining eyes, which will be your head lights reflecting off the animal's
eyes. NOTE: Moose are so tall that their eyes are normally above the beams
of most vehicle head lights, and so are less likely to be seen
Flickering head lights of oncoming cars or tail lights of the vehicles in
front of you - which may be an animal crossing the road
Roadside reflectors that disappear/reappear, which might indicate an animal
crossing in front of them
Watch out between dusk and dawn. Light levels are low, and animals are
Anecdotally, there seems to be some evidence that animals that approach from
the right side are avoided more successfully than animals that approach from
the left, as drivers head lights illuminate that portion of the road better,
and drivers pay close attention to the right hand side of the road and the
ditch - so remember to pay equal attention to both the right and left hand
sides of the road.
Think about the landscape that you are driving through. Is it good habitat
for wildlife? Studies show that problem locations are where creeks intersect
roads, areas where there is good roadside habitat nearby, and long straight
stretches (because people tend to speed up).
Use Your Vehicle
Maintain your vehicle - Keep head lights, signal lights, and tail lights
clean and in good working order.
Clean your windshield, inside and out, once a week, or more if someone
smokes, and check and repair windshield wiper blades.
Keep head lights properly aligned to avoid blinding other drivers and
optimize road coverage.
Wear your seatbelt at all times.
Honk your horn or flash your lights to scare animals off the road. This may
scare a deer off the road, but does not usually work for moose.
In a 3 lane situation, when it is safe to do so, and when it is not impeding
other traffic, drive in the middle lane to provide more distance from the
Use high beams when it is safe to do so, and scan the road ahead with quick
At night, use the high beams of the vehicle in front of you to extend your
effective sight distance.
Steer Clear - To Swerve or Not to Swerve?
If smaller animals such as deer are in your way - think carefully. Is it
safe to swerve?
Do not take unsafe evasive actions. Serious accidents can occur when drivers
lose control of their vehicles trying to avoid an animal. Always reduce your
speed in signed areas. Driving at a slower speed may mean it is not
necessary to swerve at all. Swerving can take you into the path of an
oncoming vehicle or into the ditch.
If a deer is in your way, consider using your brakes, not your wheel.
If you have to choose between swerving or striking a moose, consider
swerving. A collision with a moose, which can weigh up to 500 kgs (1200
lbs), carries a significant risk of injury or death to motorists and
passengers. If a crash with a moose is inevitable, crouch as low as possible
in your seat, or under the dash, as a moose's body usually ends up crushing
the roof of a car completely flat.