The fall months are full of wildlife movement as the weather transitions from warm to cool. While this is a natural event, it is also a danger to motorists.
Anyone who is on the roadways, especially in rural areas, needs to know how to avoid these crashes. Here are some tips that might help you to stay safe during these times:
Know when to be vigilant
The primary period of activity for deer and other animals is around dusk and dawn. You should slow down and be more careful during these periods so that you can watch for these animals because most of them aren’t afraid to run across roads even when vehicles are present.
Look ahead of you
Always try to look as far ahead as possible so that you might be able to see what is going on there. Be sure that you are scanning the shoulder of the road when you are doing this. Often, deer and other animals will explore the side of the road before trying to run across it.
Make sure you can see
When other vehicles aren’t oncoming, you can use your vehicle’s high beams to make sure that you can see as much as possible. These lights might also reflect against the animal’s eyes, which can help you spot them in the darker times when these animals are more active.
If you are going to hit an animal or if you think one will run into your path, you should hit your brakes. Try to remain in the lane you are in so that you don’t strike other vehicles that are on the road. A head-on collision while trying to avoid an animal could have devastating results.
Beware of other drivers
You don’t have to watch only for your vehicle and animals, you also need to watch what other drivers on the road are doing. You never know how drivers will react if they come across an animal, so be prepared if this occurs. Some drivers might swerve in an effort to avoid hitting the animal. This could put you at risk for being involved in a nasty crash.
If you are struck by another driver trying not to slam into wildlife or if you run into wildlife, you will likely need to seek medical care. You never know what might come up within the days following the accident.