- The CAAQ warns that moose-related accidents are on the rise in Quebec, in part as a result of climate change.
- November is also one of the worst months for moose collisions.
- Below, we outline the CAAQ's tips on how drivers can protect themselves if they confront a moose on the road.
Driving on any highway in the winter is daunting enough without having to worry about moose collisions, but unfortunately, they are a common occurrence on Quebec's roads. In November, for instance, two vehicles were involved in a moose accident which killed one young boy and sent another three people to the hospital.
According to data from the Wildlife Roadsharing Research Centre (WRRC), moose collisions most frequently happen between the months of June and November. From 2000-2014, more than 40 people died in Canada from wildlife-related highway accidents in the month of November.
Between the same 14 year span, Quebec was the most fatal province. 88 people were killed in wildlife-vehicle accidents. Alberta came a far second with only 58 deaths in 14 years.
The CAA Quebec warns of the increased frequency of moose collisions in the province, calling them a "growing danger." Drivers face the highest risk at dusk and dawn, where moose are typically most active.
However, the CAA warns that an accident of this type can happen at any time of day. In fact, the accident in Northern Quebec on November 18 happened at 2 p.m.
Warmer winters mean that more moose and deer will populate the woodland areas of the province.
The WRRC states that large animals like moose are attracted to roads because their "edges are usually “open edges” supporting the growth of shrubs that are an important source of food."
Large animals are also attracted to highways because "animals
often use valleys along the sides of highways during migration, as they are flat terrain with access to food sources," according to the WRRC.
CAA Quebec warns people that feeding the animals is a bad idea as they are less likely to be fearful of humans. They also warn that if there's one animal, there's probably more lurking nearby.
Between 2000-2014, 306 fatalities occurred when drivers struck the animal. Though there's no way to totally prevent animals from crossing our highways. Sometimes, a collision is unavoidable.
It's not advised to try to swerve out of the way if a collision is unavoidable because you might hit another vehicle or end up hitting a road obstacle. The CAA says to follow these tips if you want to avoid injury:
Stay on the road and maintain a strong grip on the steering wheel.
Use your horn—it may scare the animal away.
Brake sharply or, if you have time, pump your brakes or turn on your emergency flashers to warn the vehicle behind you of the imminent danger.
Stop your vehicle slowly and in a controlled manner.
Moose are responsible for more wildlife-vehicle fatalities than any other large animal. Remember, if you spot a moose on the side of the road, don't panic, just slow down and stay calm.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Watch out for moose on the highway this November!
For more advice on how to avoid the worst with a moose on the highway, visit CAA Quebec's website.