Protecting Both Nature and You

Defensive Driving |

Driving in areas populated by wildlife can be a breathtaking experience, but it also requires heightened awareness and a defensive driving approach to ensure safety for both humans and animals. Here are some essential tips for driving defensively in wildlife-rich environments:

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Driving Defensively

Obey Speed Limits: Always adhere to posted speed limits and be prepared to slow down further if necessary. Reduced speed not only gives you more reaction time but also reduces the severity of an impact should you encounter wildlife on the road.

Stay Alert: Keep your eyes on the road and scan the surroundings for any signs of wildlife. Look for animal crossings, warning signs, and tracks on the road or shoulder. Be especially vigilant during dawn and dusk when many animals are active.

Use High Beams Wisely: When driving at night, use your high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. High beams can help you spot wildlife on the road or at the roadside sooner, giving you more time to react.

Slow Down for Animal Crossings: When you see signs indicating animal crossings, slow down and be prepared to stop. Animals may dart across the road suddenly, and you should avoid swerving to avoid them, as this can lead to accidents.

Maintain a Safe Following Distance: Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, especially in wildlife areas. This allows you more time to brake or maneuver if the vehicle ahead suddenly stops for an animal.

Things to Avoid While Driving in Wildlife Areas

Reduce Nighttime Driving: If possible, avoid driving through wildlife-rich areas at night when visibility is limited. Many animals, including deer, are more active during these hours, making encounters more likely.

Brake, Don’t Swerve: If you encounter wildlife on the road, apply your brakes firmly and stay in your lane. Swerving to avoid an animal can lead to a loss of control or a collision with another vehicle.

Report Collisions: In the unfortunate event of a collision with wildlife, pull over safely, check for injuries, and report the incident to local authorities. They can assess the situation and may need to tend to injured animals or remove carcasses from the road.

Driving defensively in wildlife areas is not only about protecting yourself and your vehicle but also about preserving the natural habitat and the animals that call it home. By following these tips and staying vigilant, you can enjoy the beauty of these areas while reducing the risk of accidents and harm to wildlife.

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