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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Watch out for wildlife in November

Car on Hwy 3 east of Cowley after Oct. 29 collision with deer (Gerry Smith photo)
Alberta Government

Motorists are urged to be vigilant as the risk of wildlife collisions peaks this month. The number of wildlife collisions doubles in November, from an average of 1,100 each month to 2,280.

This increase in collisions is primarily caused by mating season as more wildlife are on the move in their search of mates. Additionally, many roads cut through their migration routes and animals are drawn to these roads because of an abundance of roadside vegetation and an attraction to road salt.

“Sharing our roads with wildlife is an inevitable part of driving in Alberta. Animals can be unpredictable but we can all do our part to minimize the risk of wildlife collisions by being aware and being prepared to stop when necessary.”- Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

On average, one in five (17 per cent) wildlife collisions occur in November – more than in any other month of the year.

Collision statistics:
  • There were 66,817 animal collisions over the past five years.
  • Last year, 48 per cent of collisions on rural highways in Alberta involved an animal.
  • Over the last five years, one-third of all animal-involved collisions occurred between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Tips for preventing a collision with an animal:
  • Reduce your speed and use caution in areas with wildlife warning signs or animal crossing signs.
  • Be especially careful at dawn and dusk when animals are most active.
  • Use the high beams of your headlights whenever possible. It will enable you to see animals sooner. Sometimes, an animal’s eyes will reflect the light.
  • If you see an animal on or near the roadway, slow down immediately — animal behaviour can be unpredictable and they sometimes travel in groups. Honk in a series of short bursts to encourage the animal to leave the area. Be prepared to stop.

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