One of the many great things about living in Canada is our huge array of wildlife; however, when these often large animals are on or near the roads it can quickly become a very dangerous situation. The following tips will help ensure that any wildlife interaction you have while driving will be safe for all concerned.
Keep your distance
Wild animals are not only extremely dangerous but they can also be rather unpredictable, especially when frightened, so if you see a wild animal on or near the road stay well back until it has made its way to safety. If you want to take a closer look, pull over and watch from inside your car, because apart from the fact that even a small, young animal can be rather dangerous, there are likely far more of them nearby than just the one you have noticed.
Slowing your speed by even just a few kilometres per hour will mean you have a little extra time to react if an animal appears out of nowhere, which could well be the difference between avoiding a collision or not. So whether you are driving in remote areas or just on the edge of town, stick to the speed limit at all times.
Avoid danger times
Many of Canada’s larger mammals tend to be most active around dawn and dusk, which can make driving during these times particularly dangerous. Do yourself a favour and stick to daytime driving if at all possible. Mating and/or migration seasons can also be particularly hazardous, as not only is the volume of animals higher but they can be far more aggressive, making it wise to find out when these chaotic times take place and avoid them if you can.
Stay in your lane
If an animal runs out in front of your vehicle resist the urge to swerve into another lane, because while it might mean you can avoid hitting the animal it could put you in the path of another vehicle. Instead, do your best to stop if you can; otherwise, try and angle your vehicle towards the place where the animal emerged from as this will improve your chances of avoiding a collision.
Heed warning signs
Warning signs are often posted in areas known for large populations of wildlife, so if you see these signs take their warnings seriously. For best results, slow down and keep a close eye on the side of the road until you are well clear of the area. If you are travelling through Provincial or National Parks, stop at the information centres along the way and ask about the local wildlife sightings, as this will give you a better idea of what to expect.
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