Avoid a collision with a wild animal on the road

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3 min.

Follow our tips to avoid a collision with a wild animal while driving your vehicle on the road. Make sure you have the right coverage.

What to do if an animal crosses the road in front of you

According to the government of Quebec, there are over 7,500 car accidents involving large animals in Quebec every year.

Collisions with deer are at the top of the list, followed by moose, caribou and black bears.

Here are a few tips for lowering your risk of a collision and on what to do you do encounter an animal in the road.

Be an attentive driver

An animal can cross the road at any time, even when you’re not expecting it. Here are a few tips to help you avoid a collision:

  • Reduce speed when driving through an area where road signs indicate that there are deer or moose in the area.
  • Be vigilant during the times of day when animals are most likely to be active, usually dawn and dusk.
  • Stay on the lookout during times of the year when deer are most often on the move such as October and November. This is their mating season, when you’re more likely to encounter them.
  • When possible, turn on your high beams so you can see the road ahead clearly.
  • Slow down if you see an animal at the side of the road and flash your lights to signal to other drivers that an animal is there.

Did you know that you can install ultrasonic whistles on your car so that animals hear you coming? These whistles make a sound that’s too high for humans to hear and can reduce the risk of a collision with an animal.

What if you can’t avoid hitting the animal?

There are times when you may not be able to avoid hitting an animal. Don’t make any sudden movements as this can cause a more dangerous collision. You could, for example, risk colliding with cars in the oncoming lane.

What to do if there is an animal on the road in front of you:

  • Slow down to reduce the impact.
  • Honk your horn and flash your lights to try to make the animal run away.
  • Activate your 4-way hazard lights to alert other drivers to the animal’s presence.
  • Turn towards the direction the animal is coming from if you can. This could encourage the animal to continue on its path.
  • When you get back on the road, make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive and that no fluids are leaking.

Report the collision to the applicable authorities

An animal in the road can represent a danger to other drivers. That’s why it’s important to report it.

If the animal is over 25 kg, you are obligated to report it to the police. If you’re not sure how much the animal weighs, better not to take the risk and report it to the authorities.

Some animals must be reported to wildlife protection even if they weigh less than 25 kg, including black bears, moose and coyotes. Check the Regulation respecting animals that must be declared for the full list.

What to do in case of a collision with a pet

If you hit a pet with your vehicle, it’s important to stay at the scene of the accident. If the owner is not present at the scene, report the accident to the nearest police station.

Barriers installed on some roads

The government has taken some measures to prevent collisions with animals on the roads.

For example, in the past few years, the government has installed fences along many roads to prevent animals from crossing.

Other techniques have also been used including clearing forests around roads and creating salt ponds.

Contact your insurance company if your vehicle is damaged

If you have a collision with an animal, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Depending on the coverage you have with your car insurance policy, you could receive compensation for damages to your vehicle.

We hope you found these tips helpful. For more, check out our advice on how to reduce the risk of a car accident.

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