In Quebec, you may encounter wild animals on some roads and highways. Usually, the presence of wild animals is announced through yellow diamond shaped road signs that warn you in advance so that you can anticipate potential risks and have enough time to act depending on the situation. Understanding the characteristics and behaviors of different wild animals is important to make sure that the right decisions are taken: For example, some wild animals have shining eyes at night, which helps in detecting their presence on the road through our headlights reflection. Yet, it is worth mentioning that the eyes of moose are normally above the beams of most vehicles’ head lights because they are tall. Accordingly, a moose’s eyes may not reflect the light.
When you see, on the road, signs that announce the presence of wild animals, make sure you:
• Stay alert and focused, while keeping your eyes moving to scan the movement of wild animals on the road or the shoulder etc…. Greater scanning would be necessary at night since it is dark and visibility may be reduced.
• Slow down to avoid losing control of your vehicle when an unexpected event happens. Other actions will depend on the type of animals that are on the road. If a small animal intercepts you, try to use your brake rather than your steering wheel. While if you encounter a moose, changing direction to avoid the moose is an option due to the animal’s weight that may cause serious injuries as well as death.
• If smaller animals cross the road, tap the horn and/or flash your headlights so that they run away.
• If you are on a 3 lanes or 4 lanes road, travel on the 3rd lane which is the furthest from the ditch.
• Sometimes, you cannot avoid hitting an animal.