Wildlife collisions are in the sights of Canadian insurers, particularly between March and June, when wildlife collisions are most frequent.
"The most costly result of these collisions is injury or even death of both the wildlife and the driver," Aviva Canada notes on its website. "They're more common than you'd think — a report from Transport Canada found that between four to eight large animal vehicle collisions take place every hour in Canada."
The Wildlife Collision Prevention Program, an initiative led by the B.C. Conservation Foundation, has a website dedicated to education and prevention of wildlife collisions. It cites statistics showing that about one out of every 25 crashes in 2007 were wildlife crashes, costing B.C.'s public insurer more than $30 million.
Five B.C. drivers were killed in wildlife crashes in 2007 and another 449 were injured.
In addition to paying attention to the road and wildlife signs, Aviva Canada offers the following tips to reduce chance of being involved in a wildlife collision:
• Stay in control of the vehicle: Never swerve abruptly, because hitting a tree or moving into oncoming traffic can result in significantly more harm than hitting the animal. Brake firmly if an animal is standing on, or crossing, the road.
• React: If you can't avoid striking the large animal, be ready to duck inside your car. Big animals weighing well in access of 100 kilograms can come through your windshield and cause severe injuries.
Editors note: Canada's "most dangerous animal" is apparently the moose where, especially in Newfoundland, crashes are frequent and generally very severe.
Note: Wondering if any reader has knowledge or experience about the effectiveness of the small "sonic" animal warning whistles you can purchase for a few dollars and stick on the front of your car. Do they work? Please drop us a note if you are aware of any studies indicating their usefulness.
The Insurance Advisors @ Guthrie Insurance Brokers Ltd
Toronto – (416) 487-5200 – 1-888-310-SAVE (7283)
E & O E