Helpful tips to avoid hitting wildlife while driving B.C. highways
- Risks of a collision increase from dusk to dawn when visibility is restricted and animals are active.
- Watch for road signs that indicate stretches where wildlife are known to occur.
- Reduce speed to better respond to wildlife, minimize the damage in a collision, and reduce stopping distance.
- Brakes are considered the better option over swerving your vehicle for smaller wildlife. But the circumstances must be weighed in individual cases involving larger mammals, since hitting a moose full-on could be fatal.
- Watch for wildlife on the road, in the ditch, on the shoulder, and in the right of way.
- Shining eyes don’t always foretell wildlife; moose are so tall that their eyes are normally above the beams of most vehicle headlights, and are less likely to reflect the light.
- The brake lights of the vehicle ahead of you may indicate an animal crossing the road.
- Good roadside forage habitat and intersecting creeks are likely to attract wildlife.
- Maintain your vehicle: keep headlights and windshield clean, check and repair windshield wiper blades, align headlights.
- Honk your horn or flash your lights to scare animals off the road.
- Use high beams when it is safe to do so and scan the road ahead with quick glances.
- Where there is one animal, there may be more, including a fawn or calf.
- If a collision is inevitable, aim for the spot the animal is coming from, not where it is going.
- Look toward where you want to go, not at the animal.
Source: The Wildlife Collision Prevention Program