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Information Bulletin - Wildlife Collision

February 16, 2007

Slowing down is the best strategy to avoid a wildlife collision

Edmonton...Reducing your speed, being extra-cautious during night-time travel and watching out for wildlife are three effective ways to reduce your chances of colliding with an animal on the road this winter.

Roads attract wildlife because they provide animals with a travel corridor, easy access to vegetation and, in winter, a source of salt. Based on a five-year average (2001-2005), six people die each year as a result of a collision with an animal, and 323 vehicle-animal collisions causing injury occur.

Collisions with larger wildlife like moose, deer or elk can result in extensive vehicle damage, serious injury or death. Motorists are advised to exercise caution, particularly during dawn and dusk, when visibility and driver fatigue may be factors. In winter, these times often coincide with morning and afternoon rush hour. More than one-third of collisions involving animals occur between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

To reduce the chance of a collision with wildlife:

  • Pay attention to all wildlife warning signs and drive accordingly.
  • Drive at a speed appropriate to road conditions.
  • Reduce speed at night, especially on unfamiliar rural roads that are near water or lined with trees.
  • Scan the road and ditches ahead for animals, especially when travelling at dawn or dusk.
  • Slow down in a curve, when reaching the crest of a hill or in wildlife-populated areas.
  • Use high beams when possible. Deer eyes will glow when struck by light.
  • Remember; lights from oncoming traffic at night can make it difficult to see an animal on the road.
  • Improve visibility by keeping the vehicle's windshield and headlights clean.

If you see wildlife on the road:

  • Look for more than one animal some travel in groups.
  • Brake firmly if an animal is in the vehicle's path, but do not swerve to avoid it.
  • Honk in a series of short bursts to make animals move out of the way.
  • Leave plenty of room when driving around an animal on or near the road a frightened animal may run in any direction.

If you are involved in an animal collision:

  • Report all collisions to your insurance company and police service.
  • Contact the nearest Fish and Wildlife office of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development in cases where an animal is injured or poses a threat to public safety.
  • To have roadkill removed, contact the highway maintenance contractor responsible for that area or the nearest regional office of Alberta Transportation by calling 310-0000.

For more information about traffic safety, contact the Office of Traffic Safety at (780) 422-8839 or visit http://www.saferoads.com/

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Jeanette Espie, Office of Traffic Safety
Alberta Transportation
(780) 427-6588
To call toll-free within Alberta, dial 310-0000.
Eileen McDonald
Alberta Transportation
(780) 422-0842 Cell: (780) 913-4609