Winter driving requires extra caution around wildlife
- Increased the numbers of warning signs along roads in wildlife migration areas,
- Installed fencing to exclude wildlife from highways and right-of-way within heavy migration areas,
- Installed flashing warning signs to use during migration periods,
- Installed underpasses to provide safe wildlife crossings,
- Removed heavy brush along the roadsides to provide better visibility for motorists.
- If possible, avoid driving during dusk or dawn when most wildlife collisions occur,
- Make sure headlights and windshield are clear of ice, snow, or dirt.
- Watch for the yellow wildlife warning signs that indicate areas of increased risk. Be alert when traveling through these areas, as they are migration routes,
- Slow down while driving in these areas. By slowing down just five miles per hour, it will give them the ability to stop within the distance illuminated by their headlights and greatly increase their reaction time to avoid a collision,
- Be extra alert and watch for wildlife in or along the highway during the early morning, at dusk and at night. These are the prime times when animals are most likely to be on the road and lighting is at the lowest in which to see them,
- Scan the road ahead from shoulder to shoulder to look for movement. Animals usually travel in groups; if you see one, others probably are nearby,
- When you see wildlife beside the road, slow down and pass carefully, because they could suddenly bolt onto the road,
- Use high beam headlights at night where possible, and watch for the glowing eyes of animals. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of animals on or near the road.
Another good way of preventing collisions with animals is to avoid distractions. A few distractions can include talking on a cell phone, fumbling with the vehicles audio system, or even eating while on the road. “These types of distractions can keep drivers' eyes off the road which in turn could lead to crashes. The less the distracted, the more likely drivers will be to know what is on the road ahead,” she said.