Fall is wildlife collision primetime

Sturgeon County is asking drivers to slow down and stay alert to prevent collisions with wildlife on County roads.

Collisions between vehicles and wildlife, particularly deer and moose, increase from September to November, with most collisions occurring when it is dark out.

“Moose and deer are more active at the times of day when more drivers are on the road. This is a perfect mix for collisions, which is why drivers need to slow down and stay alert, especially in areas marked as deer or moose crossings,” said Pat Mahoney, Manager of Protective Services and Fire Chief for Sturgeon County.

So far this fall, Sturgeon County Protective Services has responded to two collisions with wildlife. Last year, it responded to 19 collisions.

Wildlife collisions can cause significant damage to a vehicle and can cause serious injuries or even death for drivers and passengers. While it isn’t always possible to avoid a collision, there are things you can do to help reduce the chances.

Tips to avoid collisions with wildlife

  • Watch for wildlife warning signs and slow down in areas where animal crossing signs are posted.
  • Reduce your speed at dawn or dusk, especially in rural areas near water or lined with trees.
  • Scan the roadway and ditches ahead for animals. Improve your ability to see by keeping your windshield and headlights clean.
  • Slow down where roads curve and when reaching the crest of a hill.
  • Use high beams whenever possible. Watch for the shining eyes or silhouette of an animal at night; deer’s eye will glow when they catch light, but larger animals such as moose may not be as easy to see.

What to do if you see wildlife on the road

  • Slow down if an animal is on or near the road and be prepared to stop. Their behaviour is unpredictable.
  • Honk in a series of short bursts to encourage animals to move out of the way.
  • If you see one animal, be on the lookout for more since some species travel in groups.
  • Brake firmly if an animal is in your path. If possible, avoid swerving as it could cause a more serious collision.
  • If you are unable to stop in time and a large animal, such as a moose, is in your path, consider swerving in a safe direction.

If you do have a collision with an animal, report the collision to the RCMP or local police. If the animal is injured, do not approach it. Injured animals can be very dangerous. Contact the nearest Fish and Wildlife area office.

  • Barrhead/Spruce Grove – 780-960-8190

To report a deceased animal on a provincial highway, contact 780-963-5711 or Emcon Services Inc. at 1-800-390-2242. To report a deceased animal on a Sturgeon County road, contact Transportation Services at 780-939-8252.

Tips courtesy of the Government of Alberta

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