Whether you're hitting the road for a much deserved vacation or visiting family, Wildlife Collisions (or a cow meetup) is a possibility.
We have a list of ways to avoid the critters- below, and what to do if this occurs.
A Short Story......
Mom and dad were just heading to my sister's house, not really in the boonies, but a bit rural. It was after dark- then BOOM! BAM! They hit a COW. They were okay, just shaken a bit, then called the police.
Knowing they were okay, I had to ask about the cow. "Is the cow okay"?
I could just see my dad rolling his eyes. To make me feel better, he told me "I think he (or she) is going to be okay".
Driving to my sister's house would never be the same.
Really, it can happen anywhere. Below are the top 5 states where you might have a Wildlife Collision.
NOW, TIPS TO HELP AVOID THE CRITTERS.............
1. Pay attention to shoulders. Even though wildlife may be off to the side as your car approaches, animals may suddenly attempt to flee by inexplicably leaping into the road. (Jackrabbits are particularly suicidal!) Slow as you approach, and don't hesitate to hit the horn. At night, look for reflecting eyes.
2. Headlights have an illumination range of 200 to 250 feet. To allow for sufficient brake time, reduce your speed to 45 mph at night―or even down to 30 mph when roads are icy. Use your high beams to see farther, except of course when there is oncoming traffic or in fog.
3. In a 3 lane situation, when it is not impeding other traffic, drive in the middle lane to provide more distance from the ditch.
4. Keep in mind that deer, elk, and antelope wander in groups. If you see one crossing, slow to a crawl. More are bound to follow.
5. To swerve-or-not-to-swerve dilemma, experts advise not swerving. You can suffer more ghastly consequences from an oncoming car than from a leaping mule deer or skittering antelope. It is best to put on the brakes, honk your horn; stop or slow down.
6. When passing yellow animal-crossing signs. Take heed, these warnings are posted because heavy animal traffic frequents the area and/or an accident has occurred.
7. Wildlife is most active during dusk, dawn, and night. Deer are most frequently hit during dusk and dawn, bears and moose at night.
8. Slow....... if you spy a moose. These gangly animals harbor a weird escape gene. Instead of leaping into forested cover, moose will gallop down the road ahead of you for long distances before finally veering into the woods.
If You Do Hit An Animal, Now What?
We all hope for the best, that you are okay, the animal is not suffering, and your car has minimal damage.
Next.....Take a DEEP Breath And....
1. Move Your Vehicle to a safe place and turn on hazard lights.
2. Call the Police and inquire about alerting the local animal rescue,
OR Here is a GREAT WEBSITE that has the first Nationwide Wildlife Emergency APP ! It's called ANIMAL HELP NOW. Check it out!
Just put in your location and they will give you a list of local animal emergency help.
3. If the animal is alive and nearby, Do Not Approach It. If you can, take photos of the animal from inside your car. If your car has been damaged, take photos when it is safe for you to get out of your car. Call your insurance company.
4. If it safe to get out of the car, which means, no on-coming traffic, AND you are away from the animal, then......
** Put Reflective Triangles out or Flares! We prefer hazard Triangles and we use these:
** Check out your car-again! Your eyes will be drawn to the obvious damage, but also make sure your headlights are intact, no leaking fluids, tire damage or loose parts.
Pin it and save a life!
Please Share if you know someone who will be traveling soon! What experiences have you had on the road with Wildlife? Please comment below.