Drivers Can Take Precautions to Avoid Hitting Animals
ORILLIA, ON, June 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario boasts some of the most
scenic driving for those who live in and visit the province's vast
rural communities, but it comes with a cost with more than 10,000 drivers a year being involved in wildlife collisions.
Over the past five years (2009 to 2013), close to 60,000 wildlife collisions were reported to the OPP. Nineteen of the people
involved in these collisions died and more than 2,200 of them sustained injuries. OPP data show that spring and fall are
times when motorists driving in rural areas need to be extra cautious
as wildlife becomes more active.
It is important to remember that deer, moose and elk crossing signs are
only posted where there are frequent sightings or crossings, however
these animals can be seen anywhere at any time. Drivers should
therefore maintain a heightened level of awareness when driving in
rural areas that are absent of these signs.
The OPP is reminding motorists that they can take precautions to reduce
their risk of a collision with wildlife:
Scan the road ahead from shoulder to shoulder. Moose, elk and deer are
particularly active in the spring, especially at dawn and dusk, as they
search for food. Deer rarely travel alone, so when motorists see one
there are likely more nearby.
Watch your speed and be careful when driving at night. Slowing down will
give you more time to respond. Avoiding driving after dark when
possible can greatly reduce the risk of colliding with an animal.
Brake firmly if an animal is standing on or crossing the road, stopping
if necessary. Swerving to avoid hitting a wild animal may result in
loss of control and a more serious collision. If you do encounter large
wildlife such as deer, moose, elk or bears on the road and can safely
avoid hitting them, do so, but be absolutely certain that oncoming
traffic or soft shoulders do not put you and others at risk.
Do not direct your full attention to the animal when you take measures
to avoid hitting it, because this almost always results in colliding
with the animal. Instead, focus your attention on the alternative route
you decide to take, again only if this manoeuvre doesn't place you and
others in danger.
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SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
Contacts by OPP Region:
Highway Safety Division:
Sergeant Kerry Schmidt
Phone: (416) 460-4701
Sergeant Peter Leon
Phone: (705) 330-3738
Sgt. Kristine Rae
Phone: (613) 285-2750
Sergeant Shelley Garr
Phone: (807) 473-2734
North East Region:
Sergeant Carolle Dionne
Phone: (705) 845-2738
Sergeant Dave Rektor
Phone: (519) 652-4156