How to prevent collisions with wild animals
Accidentally hitting a raccoon, skunk, fox or deer is an experience no motorist wants to have. On top of being extremely distressing, it can also result in a serious accident. The Auto Value Certified Service Centers team has put together a few tips to help you minimize the risk of getting into this unpleasant situation.
The key to driving as safely as possible is to remain vigilant at all times. Always keep your eyes on the road, especially on routes lined with trees and deep ditches where an animal could unexpectedly jump in front of your car. Avoid distractions that could increase your reaction time – every second counts! For instance, we don’t recommend changing songs, programming your GPS, eating, drinking or smoking while driving.
Make sure your headlights and windshield are clean and clear, so you can see anything in your way. Remember that wild animals are most active at dawn and dusk. If possible, avoid driving in bright sunlight and wear sunglasses if necessary. If you’re driving at times when the sun’s glare can compromise your visibility, be extra careful. At night, use your high beams unless there’s oncoming traffic.
Studies show that the most severe wildlife collisions occur on long, straight stretches, dry roads and clear nights. Motorists naturally tend to drive faster, even exceeding speed limits, in these conditions. This can drastically reduce the chances of braking in time if a deer jumps into the road. Even if you feel like speeding, slow down. If an animal appears in the distance, you’ll have more time to avoid it without compromising your safety and that of other road users.
What should you do if a small animal appears out of nowhere? If no one’s behind you, slow down and drive carefully around it or brake and wait for it to move. If there’s a lot of traffic, avoid moving out of your lane. This could cause you to collide with another car instead of the animal. If you see a deer or moose, do everything you can to avoid hitting it, as you could seriously injure yourself. If possible, warn other drivers by flashing your hazard or brake lights.
Properly functioning brakes are essential to preventing collisions with wild animals, stray objects and other vehicles. Request an appointment at your nearest Auto Value Certified Service Centers to have your brake system inspected and serviced by an expert.
Service is the difference. We get it!