News & Media

Watch out for wildlife, cops urge motorists

by Star Staff (The Sudbury Star)
October 2, 2012

Manitoulin OPP is reminding motorists to be extra cautious of wildlife on area highways.

Throughout September, of the 42 car accidents the police responded to, 29 involved wildlife. That compares to 49 collisions, with only 16 involving wildlife this time last year.

Motorists are asked to be on high alert, especially between 8 p.m. and midnight — which is when the majority of wildlife collisions are taking place. Wild animals are unpredictable, so always be on the watch.

To decrease the risk of being involved in a wildlife collision, the OPP recommends:

— Scanning the road ahead from shoulder to shoulder. When you see wildlife beside the road, slow down and pass carefully, as they may suddenly bolt onto the road.

— Watch for the yellow wildlife warning signs that indicate an area of increased risk. Slow down when travelling through these areas.

— Use high beams at night where possible and watch for glowing eyes of animals

— Stay in control. Watch your speed and take extra precautions when driving at night, as visibility is greatly reduced. Slowing down will give you that extra second to respond.

— Never swerve suddenly. This could cause your vehicle to go out of control or head into oncoming traffic.

— Brake firmly if an animal is standing on, or crossing, the road. Never assume the animal will move out of your way.

— Stop as safely as possible if a wild animal is crossing the road. Remember, if one animal crosses the road, others may follow.

— If possible, avoid driving during dusk or dawn, which is when most wildlife collisions occur. Swerving to avoid hitting a wild animal may result in a more serious collision.