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The rate of car/animal collisions in Ontario is on the rise
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deer on road

The OPP are reporting that wildlife collisions with cars are way up this year. Some wildlife strikes (racoon, squirrel, fox) may slightly damage your car. Others such as deer can cause serious damage and driver injury, and the large animals like moose and bear can easily result in fatality.

Small animals tend to be hit by the car below the hood and bounce away or are run over. Larger animals fly over the hood when hit and can result in the top o the car being sheared off, the car being thrown off the road, drivers hitting road side hazards or other cars when swerving, or death by the driver being hit by the animal.

Experts say that collisions with large wildlife spike in the fall when deer and moose are in the very active mating season. Make no mistake though, wildlife strikes happen at all times of day and night all year round. OPP report hat since 2013 20 people have been killed in wildlife strikes and over 2600 people have been injured. This year alone we’ve seen 145 injuries and a death. Insurers report over 14000 animal strikes a year, although that number is higher as not everyone reports the accidents to their insurers. We have the highest rates in Canada of collisions with animals.

Police advise the following approach to animals and the roads:

  • ·         Drive the speed limit or slower and constantly scan the sides of the road
  • ·         In areas that are marked as deer/moose crossings slow down even more as these areas have significant rates of animal strikes
  • ·         DO NOT swerve for small animals like racoons and foxes. Swerving is a major cause of domino accidents either landing the driver in the ditch or in the trees injured or dead, or hitting other cars head on
  • ·         Be particularly vigilant for animals at dawn and dusk
  • ·         Use your high beams on rural road and highways at night
  • ·         If you see a large animal immediately check your rear view mirror, apply your brakes and steer straight until you have slowed down to a point that you can steer around the animal.
  • ·         If you hit a large animal and it has not died you should call the police to attend the scene. Most animal strikes are considered a ‘comprehensive’ claim under your car insurance.

If you find livestock on the road (common in rural areas) consider stopping at the nearest farm to advise the farmers of the problem or call the OPP.

The government is working hard in areas with high wildlife populations and heavy vehicle traffic to implement solutions like animal under and over passes on highways, and to have moose and deer fencing and gates to keep large animals off the roads.

 

Posted on Sunday, Jul 22, 2018 - 08:31:00 AM EST
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