Looking for wildlife on the road can be fun and exciting. Different areas of the United States have an array of wildlife that can be seen from the open road. Unfortunately, wildlife will occasionally get onto the road. Knowing when to swerve your car can not only help you to save the life of an animal, it can help you prevent damage to your vehicle.
Look for Crossing Signs
Crossing signs are not always for ducks and deer. Because wildlife is different throughout the United States, you may come across crossing signs with different symbols. Even if you cannot identify the animals on the sign, you should still pay attention to your surroundings. Other animals may cross frequently at that point, even if they aren’t on the sign. Look for small animals like turtles, armadillos and cats that could get in the way.
Pay Attention to the Shoulders of the Road
Animals don’t always travel across the road. Many walk alongside it, but are rarely seen. Turtles are a great example and they can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle if you run one over. When driving, stay in your lane and be alert, especially in wooded areas.
Spot the Herd
Whether you are looking for wildlife for fun or to be safe, it is important to remember that deer and elk wander in groups. If one is spotted, more are probably in the immediate area. Slow the vehicle down and make sure none are crossing the road. Don’t rely on deer whistles or salt to keep the animals away from your car.
Should You Swerve Out of the Way?
In most cases, drivers should make an effort to swerve out of the way. If this is impossible due to oncoming traffic or other road hazards, lock the brakes and use the horn. If the animal is large, such as a moose, it may be more practical to swerve away from the animal. A moose can weigh up to 1,600 pounds and collisions often cause serious damage to the vehicle and passengers.
Whether you are looking for wildlife as you travel or are looking to be a safer driver, understanding how roads affect wildlife is important. Study tips for specific species that live in your area to gain a better understanding of what to do. This will not only help to make your journey a safer one, but a more enjoyable one. And carry UDAP Bear Spray in your vehicle at all times!