Did You Know?
The majority of animal and vehicle crashes result in some form of bodily injury or vehicle damage. Whether you’re driving in the city or the country, here are some tips to keep you safe on the road.
Wild animals are unpredictable but there are times when the risk of a collision is particularly high. Be alert during May and June when animals are drawn to ditches for road salt and to escape biting insects. They are also especially active in the late fall and early winter during mating season and migration. The peak times for collisions are dawn and dusk. Drivers should be aware of this danger and take the necessary precautions to remain accident-free.
• 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 that they are in safe working order.
• Watch out for movement and shiny eyes on the roadsides. Slow down if you see anything suspicious.
• 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. BRAKE!
• Slow down on blind curve areas of the roadway.
• Always wear a seat belt—it’s your best safety defense.
When a collision is unavoidable
Sometimes collisions with wildlife are unavoidable even if you take every precaution and remain alert at the wheel. In these circumstances, try to remain calm.
• Aim your vehicle at the spot where the animal came from, not where it’s going.
• Try for a glancing blow rather than a head-on encounter and let up on your brake just before you collide. This causes the front of your vehicle to rise slightly and reduces the chances of the animal going through your windshield.
• Hitting an animal can be an extremely traumatic experience. If possible, move to the shoulder and turn on your hazard lights. Take a moment to regain your composure and then assess the damage to your vehicle.
• Do not approach the animal, especially if it appears to be wounded. Injured animals can be extremely dangerous.
• Call the police or your local RCMP detachment if there are human injuries or significant damage to your vehicle. If the damage is less severe, you may continue driving and follow regular SGI claims reporting procedures.