Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

DANGERS > ANIMALS > WILD

Wild

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Due to their bulk, any collision with wild animals can result in significant damage and injury and even the likelihood of a fatality.

The practical information below is vital if you are exposed to wild animals in the area that you are traveling.

☠️ Alert:

🛈 Questions:

Dangers Animals Wild

Nocturnal Animals:

  • When driving at night, reduce speed and use high beam headlights to see further ahead, provided there are no oncoming vehicles that you can blind.

  • When encountering an animal at night (often one can see the reflective eyes before seeing the animal itself), then it is better to change the headlights to dim as nocturnal animals see better in low than bright light.

  • Some animals will freeze in the headlights and it may then be better to flash the headlights on and off rather than to leave the headlights continuously on.

⚠️ For sensitive viewers, note that some clips contain collisions with animals.

☠️ How to avoid wild animals on the road

Encountering wild animals on the road can be unexpected and potentially dangerous. Here are some tips to help you avoid collisions with wild animals while driving:

  • Pay Attention to Warning Signs: Be vigilant and watch for warning signs indicating areas with high wildlife activity. These signs are typically placed in areas known for frequent animal crossings.

  • Reduce Speed and Stay Alert: Slow down when driving through areas with dense vegetation, forests, or wildlife habitats. Be attentive and scan the road and roadside for any signs of animals, including movement, shining eyes, or reflections in your headlights.

  • Use High Beams at Night: When driving in areas with a higher risk of encountering wildlife, use your high beams (when there is no oncoming traffic) to enhance your visibility and spot animals earlier.

  • Stay in Your Lane: Always stay in your lane and avoid swerving if an animal suddenly appears on the road. Swerving can lead to loss of control or collisions with other vehicles. Instead, brake firmly and honk your horn to alert the animal and give it a chance to move away.

  • Maintain a Safe Distance: If you spot an animal on or near the road, slow down and keep a safe distance. Animals may act unpredictably, and giving them space reduces the risk of a sudden encounter or collision.

  • Multiple animals: If you encounter an animal, then expect others to follow.

  • Be Extra Cautious at Dawn and Dusk: Many wild animals are more active during dawn and dusk, so exercise extra caution during these times when driving.

  • Do Not Feed Wildlife: Avoid feeding or approaching wildlife. Feeding animals can encourage them to linger near roads, increasing the chances of an accident.

  • Follow Local Guidelines: Be familiar with local guidelines and recommendations for driving in wildlife-prone areas. These guidelines may provide specific information on precautions and best practices for avoiding animal collisions.

Remember that wildlife encounters can happen even if you take precautions. If an animal collision does occur, prioritize your safety and the safety of others. Report the incident to the appropriate authorities if necessary, and avoid approaching injured animals, as they may be frightened and potentially dangerous.

? Are there any signs or indicators that can help me anticipate the presence of wildlife on the road?

Yes, there are several signs and indicators that can help you anticipate the presence of wildlife on the road. Being observant and aware of your surroundings can greatly assist in detecting wildlife activity and taking necessary precautions. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Wildlife Warning Signs: Pay attention to official wildlife warning signs posted along the road. These signs are typically placed in areas known for frequent animal crossings. They often depict images of animals, such as deer, elk, or moose, and serve as a reminder to drive cautiously and watch for wildlife.

  • Animal Tracks or Footprints: Keep an eye out for tracks or footprints on or near the road. Animal tracks can indicate recent wildlife activity in the area. Tracks may vary depending on the species, so familiarize yourself with common animal tracks in your region.

  • Animal Droppings or Scat: Wildlife droppings or scat on or near the road can be an indicator of animal presence. Different animals leave distinct droppings, so if you are familiar with local wildlife, you may be able to identify the type of animal based on the scat.

  • Roadside Vegetation Disturbances: Look for signs of vegetation disturbances along the roadside, such as broken branches or trampled vegetation. These can indicate that animals have been present or crossing the road recently.

  • Reflective Eyes or Eye-Shine: Many animals' eyes reflect light, especially at night when illuminated by headlights. If you see a reflection of light ahead, it could be an indication of an animal on or near the road.

  • Other Vehicles or Drivers' Reactions: If you notice other vehicles slowing down, stopping, or flashing their headlights, it could be a sign that there is wildlife nearby. Pay attention to the behavior of other drivers, as they may have spotted animals and are taking precautions.

Remember that wildlife encounters can happen suddenly and without warning, so it's important to remain alert, reduce your speed, and be prepared to react if you see any signs of wildlife on or near the road. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of others by following recommended guidelines for wildlife encounters in your area.

? Are there specific areas or times when wildlife crossings are more common?

Yes, there are specific areas and times when wildlife crossings are more common. Understanding these patterns can help you anticipate and reduce the risk of wildlife collisions. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Wildlife Habitats: Wildlife crossings are more likely to occur in areas where animals have established habitats. These areas can include forests, grasslands, wetlands, or areas near rivers and streams. Pay extra attention when driving through or near these habitats.

  • Rural and Natural Areas: Wildlife crossings are more prevalent in rural and natural areas, away from heavily populated urban areas. These regions often have a higher concentration of wildlife and fewer physical barriers, such as fences or walls, separating animal habitats from roadways.

  • Wildlife Corridors: Wildlife corridors are designated pathways that connect different habitats, allowing animals to move and migrate. These corridors may include designated wildlife bridges, underpasses, or open spaces designed to facilitate safe wildlife movement. Be particularly cautious when driving near known wildlife corridors.

  • Dawn and Dusk: Many wildlife species are more active during dawn and dusk, which are commonly referred to as the "crepuscular" periods. During these times, animals may be foraging, hunting, or moving between resting areas. Exercise extra caution and be prepared for increased wildlife activity during these hours.

  • Breeding and Mating Seasons: Wildlife crossings may become more frequent during breeding and mating seasons. Animals may be more mobile and searching for mates during these times, leading them to cross roads more frequently. Understanding the breeding patterns of local wildlife species can give you a better idea of when crossings are more likely to occur.

  • Migration Routes: Some animals, such as birds, mammals, or amphibians, undergo regular seasonal migrations. These migrations often involve crossing roads or highways. Research local migration patterns to identify potential areas and times when wildlife crossings may be more common.

It's important to note that wildlife behavior can be unpredictable, and crossings can occur at any time. However, by being aware of these general patterns and adjusting your driving behavior accordingly, you can reduce the risk of wildlife collisions and promote road safety for both humans and animals.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving