5 Essential Things to Know About Wildlife on the Road

According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are currently more than 8 million lane-miles of roads throughout the US, with over 6 million of those in rural areas. One important danger of driving in rural areas is the potential for wildlife on the road. Keep reading to find out how to keep yourself and the wildlife a little safer.

Be Aware

If you are driving on a two-lane road with trees or open fields along the sides, your chances of encountering wildlife on the road are much greater. Make sure you are paying attention to the road ahead and your surroundings – especially at dawn and dusk, as this is when most animals become active.

Slow Down

While it may be tempting to just fly along rural roads, your best option is to slow down to the speed limit, or slower if you happen to see animals alongside the roadways. Lowering your speed will increase your ability to react quickly enough if an animal does happen to jump out into the road. Animals, unlike most people, don’t know the dangers of vehicles and crossing the road, so you need to be proactive in trying to prevent accidents.

Group Travelers

Generally, if you see one animal on or near the roadway, there is likely another close behind it. Many types of animals travel in groups or packs, and young animals often follow mom wherever she goes. Paying attention when you notice an animal will go a long way in helping both you and the animal make it where you’re going safely.

Warning Signs

If you see those deer or bear-crossing signs, take heed – they are there due to the increased danger that has been noted in the area. These signs typically mean that it is well-known that the animals are in the area or that there have been accidents in the past, so slowing down is highly advised. And no, officials do not put the signs there to give animals permission to cross, so they can’t move them to safer areas.

Use High Beams

When other drivers aren’t coming towards you, or you aren’t right behind another driver, use your high beams. This will allow you to see farther and more clearly, and they will reflect off the eyes of any wildlife that might be in the road ahead.

Wildlife in the road is dangerous and can cause significant damage to a vehicle and its occupants if an accident occurs. Exercise caution and use the tips above to stay safe!


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Top 10 Scenic Drives in Nebraska
The state of Nebraska is the epitome of America’s Midwest with historical markers and scenery that evokes memories of the Old West. Vast grassy prairies dominate the scene, inspiring a sense of hope and an inquisitiveness about the unknown. There...
Top 10 Scenic Drives in Northern California
Exploring northern California is especially exciting because the region is home to an impressively wide variety of terrain, ranging from sandy beaches to tall, rugged mountains. The possibilities for day trips or weekend getaways consequently abound. Whether winding through wine...
Top 10 Scenic Drives in Northern California
Exploring northern California is especially exciting because the region is home to an impressively wide variety of terrain, ranging from sandy beaches to tall, rugged mountains. The possibilities for day trips or weekend getaways consequently abound. Whether winding through wine...

Related questions

How do I resume the cruise control speed?

When you depress the brake pedal, or the clutch pedal (if you have a manual transmission), the cruise control will stop working, granting you full power of the vehicle. To resume the cruise control speed that you had previously been...

What does the passenger front air bag light indicate?

Your Altima is equipped with an intelligent system of sensors designed to determine if the passenger front air bag should be on or off. The Air Bag Off Light on your dash tells you the status of the system. Here’s...

How do I turn on the fog lights?

The fog lights are an important safety feature that give your vehicle added visibility in foggy conditions. These lights are controlled by the fog lamp band, which is located on the turn signal lever. To turn on the fog lamps,...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com