About a million animals end up as roadkill each day across the United States. This staggering number isn’t just a threat to the wildlife roaming near major roads, but also to drivers. Large animals like moose and deer can wreck the hood of the car and cause accidents. So to protect yourself, your car, and the animals on the road, we’ve listed here some helpful tips to prevent hitting animals with your vehicle.
Slow down when you spot an animal
The moment you spot an animal ahead, slow down so you can control your car when the animal gets close. Take note that wild animals will behave unpredictably near the road. So if the animal stays on the road, it’s best to stop until they have cleared your way. Some throw biscuits on the other side of the road to drive away from the wildlife.
Use high-beam lights instead
High-beam lights give you a better distance and visibility at night. So if you’re driving down a dark road, high-beam lights will let you see an animal much further away. This way, you’ll have enough time to slow down and avoid the animal. Again, watch your speed so you wouldn’t be surprised by a deer bolting out into the middle of the road.
Always be on the lookout
Being alert and focused on the road will save a lot of wildlife. If you’re driving in an area prone to roadkill, you should keep your eyes on the road. Always scan the area and the parts of the road ahead of you. If you spot one animal, there’s a chance that a group of them is hidden in the bushes. Slow down until you’ve passed the wildlife.
Keep a hawk-eye during dusk and dawn
When it gets dark, some wildlife becomes more active like deer, for example. And with poor distance visibility, the chance of roadkill gets higher. Again, a pair of high-beam lights and a watchful pair of eyes should save you from any accident. If possible, delay your drive until the sun is up.
Many drivers swerve abruptly to avoid an animal. As much as you won’t hit the animal, you may end up figuring in an accident. Swerving will make you lose your control over the vehicle. When that happens, you may hit more animals hidden in the bushes. So instead of swerving as your first instinct, pressing on the brakes firmly might be a much better choice.
Don’t startle the animal through honking
Another common reaction of drivers is to honk when an animal is blocking the road. Take note that some animals like moose will react aggressively when startled. The best move here is to stop until the animal moves out of your driving direction.
Roadkill is a common occurrence across the country. Still, the high numbers don’t make it acceptable. As a responsible driver, you should also consider the welfare of the animals that might be lost in the middle of the road. That way, you’ll also be safe from potential accidents.