Watch the Road: How to Avoid Slaughtering the Scenery

Direct impacts rarely end well. Every year, collisions with wildlife result in 1.5 million crashes, 200 deaths, and $1 billion in vehicle damage. Here are five tips to stay safe.

Elk.     Photo: Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia Commons

1. Those yellow deer-crossing signs were put there for a reason: they designate habitual migration routes. Heed them and slow down.

2. Bioacoustics researchers tend to agree—deer whistles do nothing.

3. At night, scan the shoulder and watch for reflecting eyes.

4. Remember: deer, elk, and antelope travel in herds. If you see one, more are likely coming.

5. Whatever you do, don't swerve*. Animals are unpredictable, and you're more likely to lose control or hit another driver if you try to outmaneuver them. Instead, brake hard, stay in your lane, and lay on the horn. Good luck out there.

*Unless we're talking about a moose—in which case, ignore this advice. The average bull weighs 1,000 pounds.

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