6 Important Tips to Avoid Moose Collisions in Maine
According to MaineDOT, our Pine Tree State experiences an increase in moose collisions during the months of May and June. While autumn also sees a spike of incidents, it's crucial for drivers to remain vigilant throughout the year, as crashes can occur at any time. The Department of Transportation has provided some valuable tips to help drivers navigate the roads safely and avoid dangerous encounters.
Be Extra Cautious Around Dawn and Dusk
One factor that makes moose collisions particularly challenging is their height. Unlike deer, whose eyes reflect light from headlights, moose often go unnoticed until it's too late. Their towering stature renders their eyes invisible in the glare, making them even harder to spot in time to prevent an accident. Therefore, it is essential for drivers to exercise extra caution, especially during the hours around dawn and dusk when moose and deer are most active. Dark-colored wildlife can blend into the surroundings and surprise drivers, so staying alert is of utmost importance.
Pay Attention to Moose Crossing Signs
The strategic placement of moose and deer crossing signs in Maine is no accident. These signs are strategically located in areas where high concentrations of wildlife exist and collisions frequently occur. Paying attention to these warning signs and adhering to the posted speed limits are vital for minimizing the risk of accidents. Driver distraction, inattentiveness, and excessive speed are common factors contributing to vehicle-wildlife incidents.
Reduce Speed When Visibility Is Poor
Good visibility is a must for spotting wildlife in time to react. When visibility is reduced due to darkness, rain, or fog, drivers should adjust their speed accordingly. Slowing down during poor visibility conditions greatly enhances safety and allows for better response time.
Where There’s One, There’s Probably More
Moose and deer often travel in small groups, so if one animal crosses the road, there is a high likelihood of others nearby. Vigilance is necessary, as additional animals may be preparing to cross the road. It is crucial to anticipate potential dangers and be prepared to react promptly.
Give Them Plenty of Space
In the event of a moose standing in or near the roadway, extreme caution is advised. Drivers are urged to slow down, refraining from attempting to drive around the moose. It is vital to remain inside the vehicle and avoid any attempts to observe or chase the moose away from the road. Moose can be unpredictable and may pose a threat to both drivers and pedestrians. Allowing the moose to wander back off the road and giving them ample space is the safest course of action.
Be Prepared if an Impact Is Assured
In situations where a crash with an animal becomes unavoidable, drivers should apply the brakes and steer straight. Just before impact, it is recommended to release the brakes slightly, causing the front of the vehicle to rise slightly. By aiming for the tail end of the animal, the risk of it striking the windshield area is reduced, increasing the chances of avoiding a direct hit. In the event of a collision, drivers are advised to duck down to protect themselves from windshield debris.
It’s crucial for all drivers to remain attentive, stay alert, and prioritize safety on the roads.