Watch For Wildlife When You're Behind The Wheel
McGuinty Government Urges Drivers To Stay Safe
Fall brings beautiful autumn colours and more wildlife onto Ontario's roads - and a need for drivers to be extra vigilant.
On average there are 14,000 vehicle/wildlife collisions in Ontario per year - that's one every 37 minutes. Eighty-three per cent of these collisions happen on two-lane roads outside of urban areas. Most wildlife collisions occur during dusk or dawn, with 87 per cent occurring in good weather.
Being aware and taking precautions can reduce collisions, save lives and protect wild animals:
- Scan the road ahead from shoulder to shoulder. If there is wildlife beside the road, slow down and pass carefully.
- Watch for the yellow wildlife warning signs that indicate areas of increased risk. Slow down when travelling through these areas.
- Use high beams at night where possible and watch for glowing eyes of animals.
- Stop as safely as possible if a wild animal is crossing the road. Remember, if one animal crosses the road, others may follow.
- Never swerve suddenly. This could cause your vehicle to go out of control and result in a more serious collision.
- Peak times for wildlife collisions are during the fall mating and migration seasons, and in the spring when animals seek road salt in ditches and try to escape biting insects.
- The Province of Ontario has taken a number of steps to help keep animals from wandering onto the road, including fence installation along major highways.
“Wild animals are unpredictable and if we can reduce collisions by simply exercising greater caution, more people will get home to their families without incident.”
“This is a real issue for the OPP. The Elgin OPP detachment, for example, investigated 280 deer/vehicle collisions in 2007. This year there have been 140 deer/vehicle collisions and we're just approaching the peak season where deer and other animals wander onto roads.”