Deer/vehicle collisions are a huge problem across the country. However, if you think a big whitetail buck is hard on your car, imagine what the world’s largest ungulate can do.
There were 146 reported moose/vehicle collisions in New Hampshire in 2011; in the last five years the state has averaged 184 per year. June is a high-risk month for encountering moose on the roads, because moose are moving from winter to spring habitats and coming out to the roads to eat salt. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is working to make people more aware of the danger of moose/vehicle collisions. Step number one is to learn what you can do to reduce the chance of being involved in an accident with a moose.
“Moose are an important and much loved part of our state, but it can be dangerous to encounter them on the road,” said N.H. Fish and Game Moose Project Leader Kristine Rines. “By following a few simple rules, motorists can greatly reduce their chance of a moose/vehicle collision or the severity of personal injury if they do hit a moose.”
When driving on New Hampshire roads, keep these points in mind:
* New Hampshire’s moose herd is approximately 5,000 strong.
* Moose vehicle collisions happen statewide on all types of roads.
* Moose collisions happen most often from the months of May through November.
* While collisions can happen at any time of day, they occur most frequently at dusk and during the night.
* Moose are dark brown and hard to see against pavement.
* Don’t depend on “eye shine” to alert you to a moose’s presence. Moose don’t always look at an approaching vehicle.
* To reduce the chance of a collision – or the severity of occupant injury if you do hit a moose:
* Drive no faster than 55 mph, and wear your seatbelt;
* Scan the sides of the road;
* Be able to stop within the zone of your headlights;
* Use high beams whenever possible;
* If you see a moose, slow down or stop if necessary, until you have passed it or it has left the road.
New Hampshire residents and visitors love to see moose and enjoy sharing the state with these largest denizens of the forest. Make sure your moose encounters are safe for you and the moose: Brake for Moose – It could save your life!
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. For more safety tips on avoiding moose collisions, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/brake_for_moose.htm.