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accident causation accident prevention animal strike preventio animal avoidance principles journey management
Spring Animal Strike Its all Preventable if you SLOW DOWN IN MY HOME ARE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT ISSUSES Part of your Journey Management Plan Motor vehicle-related incidents are consistently the leading cause of work-related fatalities • Risk of work-related motor vehicle crashes cuts across all industries and occupations. Workers who drive on the job may be “professional” drivers whose primary job is to transport freight or passengers. Many other workers spend a substantial part of the work day driving a vehicle owned or leased by their employer, or a personal vehicle. • For all workers who drive on the job, employer safety policies are a critical element in reducing crash risks. Employer policies may be limited to supporting and reinforcing state traffic laws. However, many employers choose to manage road risk more proactively through programs and policies to promote safe driving behaviors, ensure that work-related driving takes place under the safest possible conditions, and ensure that worker vehicles are safe and properly maintained. Accident/Incident Prevention Would you slow down for kids Your Size will help but it will not prevent Reduce Speed Speed is one of the most common factors in vehicle collisions. Speed: •Reduces the drivers ability to steer away from objects in the roadway •Extends the distance required to stop •Increases the force of impact, in the event of a collision With good road conditions, drivers tend to increase their speed. Some studies suggest that wildlife vehicle collisions occur more than expected on clear nights, on dry road conditions and on long straight stretches. Drivers may tend to be more cautious on curves or in poor weather By maintaining the posted speed, drivers can compensate for increased risk. My Home Your Work day Drive Spring • The early green up of vegetation in the ditches along the side of the road, is an attractive source of forage for many wildlife species, and is a major factor in one of the highest risk times of the year. Also, the birthing season means that there are many inexperienced animals near the roads. About half of deer fatalities occur in the spring. Summer • Forest fires which destroy habitat; drought; and dry, hot weather that reduces forage availability at higher elevations all cause increased animal movement at this time of year. • It is important for motorists to have information about the factors that influence animal behaviour. This will lead to an increased level of understanding about when, where and why wildlife is most likely to be present near the road. WHEN – WHERE – OH NO! • Most literature suggests that dusk and dawn are traditionally times of high wildlife vehicle collisions. Light levels are low, and animals are active at these times. • Deer are involved in approximately 80% of wildlife vehicle collisions. There are two distinct high risk times for deer crashes. May and November have the highest rates of deer collisions. • Moose collisions peak in December and January, with the rest occurring between October and March. Collision peaks coincide with times of high snowfall along highways that are actively cleared of snow. • There is also an collision peak in June/July, which may be due to pregnant cows moving to calving grounds or the attraction of moose to roadside mineral licks. Its just not a sign, its like a “YIELD SIGN” Watch for the Signs What do those signs really mean? • A Wildlife Warning Sign is a yellow diamond shaped sign. The sign warns of a hazard ahead, and advises drivers to be cautious. The sign does not require drivers to slow down to a particular speed, unless there is an adjacent speed limit sign posted as well. • Drivers must obey wildlife warning signs and any associated speed changes. The signs are located in high wildlife use areas. Drivers must not disregard the signs even if they have been seen many times before. • Driver complacency is dangerous. Think "What If...?" • Mental preparation is a useful tool. • Think about and predict what you might do if an animal suddenly darted out in front of you or ran towards your vehicle. • It is better to think about and learn how to avoid an encounter with wildlife, than have to react to a dangerous situation when you are unprepared. Location, location, location • It's important in real estate and equally important in predicting locations which have high risk factors for wildlife vehicle collisions. Common factors of road stretches with high numbers of wildlife vehicle collisions include: • Where creeks and drainages intersect roads • Good habitat and forage near the roadside • Water source nearby • Long, wide, straight stretches of road Assumption the mother of all events • The first three factors are self evident. The availability of forage and water close to the road is likely to increase the presence of animals. • The fourth factor is more troublesome. One assumption is that when there are good road conditions - long, wide and straight - motorists tend to feel safer and more confident, and therefore accelerate. This increase in speed reduces the reaction time of the driver when an animal is seen on the road. Drive Defensively Drivers and passengers should actively watch for: wildlife - on the road, in the ditch, on the shoulder, and in the right of way • movement on or alongside the road • shining eyes, which will be your head lights reflecting off the animal's eyes. NOTE: Moose are so tall that their eyes are normally above the beams of most vehicle head lights, and so are less likely to reflect the light • Flickering head lights of oncoming cars or tail lights of the vehicles in front of you - which may be an animal crossing the road • Roadside reflectors that disappear/reappear, which might indicate an animal crossing in front of them Watch out between dusk and dawn. Light levels are low, and animals are active. Steer Clear - To Swerve or Not to • Swerve? way - think carefully. Is it If smaller animals such as deer are in your safe to swerve? • Do not take unsafe evasive actions. Serious accidents can occur when drivers lose control of their vehicles trying to avoid an animal. Always reduce your speed in signed areas. Driving at a slower speed may mean it is not necessary to swerve at all. Swerving can take you into the path of an oncoming vehicle or into the ditch. • If a deer is in your way, consider using your brakes, not your wheel. • If you have to choose between swerving or striking a moose, consider swerving. A collision with a moose, which can weigh up to 500 kgs (1200 lbs), carries a significant risk of injury or death to motorists and passengers. If a crash with a moose is inevitable, crouch as low as possible in your seat, or under the dash, as a moose's body usually ends up crushing the roof of a car completely flat. Use Your Vehicle • Maintain your vehicle - Keep head lights, signal lights, and tail lights clean and in good working order. • Clean your windshield, inside and out, once a week, or more if someone smokes, and check and repair windshield wiper blades. • Keep headlights properly aligned to avoid blinding other drivers and optimize road coverage. Keep your headlights clear of dirt and road salt residue. Check the condition of the headlight lenses in the spring and fall and clean, repair or replace if they are cloudy or scratched. • Wear your seatbelt at all times. • Honk your horn or flash your lights to scare animals off the road. This may scare a deer off the road, but does not usually work for moose. • In a 3 lane situation, when it is safe to do so, and when it is not impeding other traffic, drive in the middle lane to provide more distance from the ditch. • Use high beams when it is safe to do so, and scan the road ahead with quick glances. • At night, use the high beams of the vehicle in front of you to extend your effective sight distance. What Should Drivers do if They See Wildlife on the Road? • Slow Down - collision avoidance and driver response time are improved at slower speeds • Anticipate unpredictable behaviour from all wildlife • Determine what the animal is doing and where it is going • Some animals travel in groups - where there is one animal, there may be more. Watch for doe/fawn or moose cow/calf pairs. What if a Crash is Inevitable? In certain conditions, there is no real choice except to strike the animal. • If it appears impossible to avoid the animal: • Aim for the spot the animal is coming from, not where it is going. • Look where you want to go, not at the animal. You tend to drive where you look - if you are looking at the animal, that is where the vehicle tends to go. • If you must hit something, try for a glancing blow rather than a head-on hit. • Brake firmly and quickly, then look, and steer your vehicle to strike the animal at an angle. • Let up on the brake just before you hit the animal. This causes the front end of your vehicle to rise and reduces the chances of the animal coming through your windshield. What do you mean move, go around! So have your Done your Journey Management Now!
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