According to recent estimates from the Federal Highway Administration, there are over 300,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions in the United States every year. Even more concerning, nearly 2,000 of these indicents are deadly for the driver. These statisitics underscore why it’s important to take the proper precautions to avoid a collision with an animal. Whether you’re driving in the city or the country, here are some tips to keep you safe behind the wheel and prepared in the event that there are animals on the road.

Beware of Animals on the Road

  • Remain alert at all times and watch out for animals.
  • Slow down if you see an animal up ahead, as it is generally unpredictable.
  • Slow down at designated animal crossing areas marked by road signs. These signs indicate that the area has a lot of animal traffic and an increased potential for accidents.
  • Use your high beams at night to see animals easier.
  • Watch your speed, especially during dusk and at night.
  • Have your vehicle’s brakes and tires checked regularly to ensure they are in safe working order.
  • Watch out for movement and shiny eyes on the roadsides. Slow down if you see anything suspicious. In addition, slow down on blind curve areas of the road.
  • If you see an animal in front of you, do not swerve because it may cause you to hit another vehicle, side rail or lose control all together. Use your brakes immediately.
  • Always wear a seat belt—it’s your best safety defense.
  • Animal and vehicle collisions are especially commonplace between October and December. Make sure you are especially diligent as you drive during this time.

If a Collision Occurs

In the event that your vehicle collides with an animal, pull off to the side of the road and call the state patrol or local police department. Do not attempt to move the animal if it is lying in the middle of the road. Never leave your vehicle to check on an injured animal, as it may still be alive and potentially dangerous to you. Stay in your vehicle until help arrives.

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