Wild animals must cross our roadways during seasonal migrations to find food and water. We cannot always anticipate the actions of wildlife crossing roads, but we can be better prepared for encounters by learning about wildlife behavior and driving defensively.
- Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.
- Motorcyclists should be even more cautious while driving.
- Heed wildlife crossing signs. These signs are usually placed in areas known to have a high volume of wildlife–vehicle collisions.
- Be alert on roadways near wooded, agricultural, wetland areas and near lakes and streams.
- Scan both sides of the road. Invite passengers to help the driver search for wildlife.
- Do not drive distracted. Put away food, phones and other distractions.
- When able, use high beam headlights to illuminate the road.
- Look for an animal’s eye shine, which can be seen from a distance. Slow down once you have spotted an animal near the road.
- Some animals travel in groups. There may be more following behind the first one.
Do not throw trash out of your vehicle. Trash and food scraps can draw animals to roadways.
See an animal near the road? What to do:
- Do not swerve, stay in your lane and slow down.
- If several animals are standing in the road, do not try to drive through them or get out of the vehicle to chase them. Honk your horn and flash your lights to encourage them to move on.
- Be cautious, an animal that has crossed the road may try to go back across again.
If you have a vehicle-wildlife collision:
- Pull off the road and use your hazard lights.
- Do not try to approach an injured animal.
- Call 911 or contact your local police department.
If the animal is injured and still locate-able, call your local police department or Sheriff’s office who will contact a conservation officer to assess the animal.
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