Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

DANGERS > ANIMALS

Animals

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Animals are unpredictable and depending on size, can be lethal when impacting, especially at high speed.

In the United States, over 1 million vertebrate animals are killed by vehicle collisions every day. Globally, the number amounts to roughly 5.5 million killed per day, which when extrapolated climbs to over 2 billion annually - Wikipedia Roadkill

⚠️ Sensitive viewers note that some clips contain collisions with animals.

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Dangers Animals

🛈 Statistics on animal road deaths from a few countries

Animal deaths on the road are a significant problem, and statistics show that they are a frequent occurrence in many countries. Here are some statistics regarding animal deaths on the road:

  • In the United States, it is estimated that around 1 million animals are killed on the road every day, including a variety of wildlife such as deer, raccoons, and squirrels.

  • In Canada, an estimated 14,000 to 16,000 vehicle collisions with wildlife occur annually, resulting in injuries to people and the deaths of thousands of animals.

  • In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that around 100,000 wild animals are killed on the road each year, with badgers and deer being the most commonly killed species.

  • In Australia, it is estimated that around 5 million animals are killed on the road every year, including kangaroos, wallabies, and possums.

  • In India, wildlife-vehicle collisions are a growing problem, with an estimated 100,000 animals killed on the road every year, including elephants, tigers, and leopards.

These statistics highlight the need for drivers to be aware of the risks of animal collisions on the road and to take precautions to avoid them.

Drivers should be especially cautious when driving in areas known to have high populations of wildlife, such as near forests or along rural roads.

Drivers should also be alert for signs warning of potential animal crossings and adjust their driving accordingly.

Why do animals get hit by cars?

Animals getting hit by cars is a common occurrence, and there are several reasons why it happens:

  • Habitat Fragmentation: As human development expands and natural habitats are fragmented by roads and infrastructure, animals are forced to navigate through unfamiliar and potentially hazardous environments, increasing their risk of being hit by cars.

  • Wildlife Corridors: Lack of proper wildlife corridors or underpasses can prevent animals from safely crossing roads. Without designated crossing areas, animals may attempt to cross roads directly, leading to collisions with vehicles.

  • Animal Behavior: Animals may exhibit unpredictable behavior, especially during mating seasons or when searching for food. This behavior can lead them to venture onto roads without recognizing the danger posed by oncoming vehicles.

  • Nocturnal Activity: Many animals, such as deer, are nocturnal and are more active during nighttime hours when visibility is reduced. This increases the likelihood of collisions with vehicles that may not see them in time.

  • Road Design and Speed Limits: Poor road design, lack of adequate signage, or high-speed limits near wildlife habitats can contribute to increased wildlife-vehicle collisions. Curves, poor lighting, and limited driver visibility can also make it difficult to spot animals crossing the road.

  • Lack of Awareness: Drivers may not be alert or aware of the potential presence of animals on or near the road. Inattentiveness or distractions while driving can reduce reaction time and increase the chances of colliding with animals.

  • Population Density: Areas with high human and animal population densities often have more frequent interactions between wildlife and vehicles, leading to an increased risk of collisions.

Efforts to mitigate animal-vehicle collisions include measures such as wildlife crossings, fencing, reduced speed limits in wildlife-prone areas, wildlife warning signs, and public awareness campaigns to educate drivers about the importance of being vigilant and cautious while driving in areas with known animal activity.

Do animals think vehicles are animals?

Animals do not typically perceive vehicles as other animals. They may not have a concept of what a vehicle is or understand its purpose. However, some animals may react to vehicles based on their instinctual behaviors or learned responses.

For example, animals that have evolved alongside vehicles, such as certain urban wildlife or animals living near roads, may have become accustomed to the presence of vehicles and have learned to associate them with potential sources of food or other benefits. In such cases, animals might approach vehicles in search of food scraps or use them as shelter.

On the other hand, many animals may perceive vehicles as threats or potential dangers. The loud noises, sudden movements, and fast speeds of vehicles can trigger a fear response in animals, causing them to flee or take defensive actions to protect themselves.

It's important for drivers to be aware of wildlife and take precautions to avoid collisions. Slowing down, especially in areas known for animal crossings, can give animals more time to react and move out of the way. Additionally, following wildlife crossing signs, staying alert, and avoiding unnecessary disturbances or interactions with wildlife can help minimize the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of both animals and humans.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving