Here in the states we are used to our comfortable interstate highways with 70 MPH speed limits lined with high fences to keep wildlife at bay. In rural parts of Canada, however, road travel is an entirely different story.
So much so, Brad Greaves owner of Ignace Outpost in Ignace, Ontario has specific guidelines on driving in remote portions of Ontario. Of course, it is always thrilling to see Moose, Bear and Deer on the roadsides of our Canadian travels, but hitting such large animals can be life threatening and at the very least, could ruin your trip.
Most accidents occur either between 5-8 am or 6 pm to midnight. These situations can, however, happen at any time of day on any rural Canadian roadway.
Here are Brad’s helpful tips to avoiding an incident on your trip this summer:
- Use high beams whenever possible.
- Be sure your windshield is clean and your lights are in proper working condition.
- Scan the road continuously from shoulder to shoulder (You don’t often hit the animals you see in advance).
- Be aware that in most animal/vehicle accidents the animal was “just barely” on the paved portion of the road.
- At night, watch for the tell-tale flashes of small glowing eyes of animals.
- Wildlife crossing signs DO actually indicate areas of increased risk.
- Always slow down when passing wildlife – you never know when they may suddenly turn or dart into your path.
- Remain alert after passing an animal, it may be with others or with young.
- Never attempt extreme maneuvers to avoid a collision.
- Don’t assume the animal will move out of your way.
- Watch your speed, KPH and MPH are different!
- Moose, Bear and Deer are large enough to activate your airbags when you hit them. (Keep this in mind as you sip from a bottle or cup in the front seat).
- If you hit a bear, do not stop to see if he is alright. A wounded bear is not an animal that you would want to visit with for any length of time.
- If you come across a fox, rabbit, bird, or other small animal on the roadway, don't leave your lane. See the note above about swerving.
Trust us when we say that each mile driven to reach your Canadian destination is well worth it! Safe travels and enjoy the ride!
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