Of all the months of the year, the most wildlife collisions - about 18 per cent - occur in November. This represents 13,250 animal crashes in the last five years.
In fact, looking at monthly averages over the last five years, the number of collisions involving animals has consistently doubled during the month of November. On average, there were 1,249 animal crashes each month but, in November, the average climbed to 2,650 animal crashes.
Collisions increase at this time because it is mating season for many animals. Generally, animals are attracted to roads because they like to eat the roadside vegetation, they are attracted to road salt, they are looking for mates and, often, roads cut through their migration routes.
“We can take steps to be safer behind the wheel. Whether on highways or country roads, I encourage drivers to be watchful during this time of year and always be prepared to respond if you see an animal near the road. Considering half of all collisions on rural roads involve animals, we can make our roads a lot safer by being aware of the risks.”
- There were 14,036 animal collisions in 2012.
- Last year, 54 per cent of crashes on rural highways in Alberta involved an animal.
- Over the last five years, one-third of all animal-involved collisions occurred between 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Tips for preventing a collision with an animal
- Reduce your speed and use caution in areas with wildlife warning signs or animal crossing signs.
- Be especially careful at dawn and dusk when animals are more active.
- Use the high beams of your headlights whenever possible. It will enable you to see animals sooner. Sometimes, an animal’s eyes will reflect the light.
- If you see an animal on or near the roadway, slow down — animal behaviour can be unpredictable and they sometimes travel in groups. Honk in a series of short bursts to encourage the animal to leave the area. Be prepared to stop.
Alberta Transportation collects and analyzes data to better inform Albertans and to implement the province’s Traffic Safety Plan, which supports safer families and communities. Since Alberta launched its first Traffic Safety Plan in 2007, the number of fatalities on our roads has decreased 25 per cent even though the provincial population has continued to grow.
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