Stay Safe – Avoid Hitting Animals This Autumn
The animals, especially deer, are on the move. Especially, during dawn and dusk time hours. We want you to stay safe and avoid a collision with your vehicle. Here are some tips for you:
Scan the road and shoulders ahead of you. Looking ahead helps provide enough reaction time if an animal is spotted. Also, remember some animals move in groups, so when there is one, there are usually more in the area.
Use high-beam headlights if there’s no oncoming traffic. Wildlife may be spotted sooner when using high beams. This will give the driver time to slow down, move over or honk the horn to scare the animal away. High beams also help in spotting some animals’ reflective eyes.
If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane. Swerving to avoid an animal can often cause a more serious crash or result in drivers losing control of vehicles.
Be extra cautious at dawn and dusk. Most animals, especially deer, tend to be more active early in the morning and at dusk.
Slow down and use extra caution when traveling through areas with a high and active wildlife population. Be aware of increased wildlife movement in some regions during certain times of year, such as hunting or mating season.
Drivers should always wear a seat belt and remain awake, alert and sober.
In case of an emergency, according to AAA you should always have these things in your car:
- A waterproof bag to hold everything, preferably with a reflector or reflective strip.
- Flashlight with extra batteries (keep batteries separate).
- Three reflective warning triangles and reflective vest. Many kits come with only one reflective warning triangle. The Safety department at AAA Northeast recommends three, to be placed around the perimeter of the car. This increases a stalled car’s visibility and the reaction time of traffic.
- A small toolkit including a two-in-one screwdriver, pliers and wrench.
- Jumper cables.
- First-aid kit including vinyl or latex gloves. Most of the first-aid kits in preassembled purchased kits are very basic; buy a separate, fully-stocked first-aid kit to be better prepared. Also, be aware the many emergency kits count every band aid and small first-aid item as part of their total piece count.
- Tire changing tools: jack, lug wrench, flat board, and wheel chock.
- Empty gas can.
- A blanket to keep warm if you are stuck in the winter with no heat.
- A small shovel so that you are always prepared to dig away snow from the wheels.
- Rain poncho.
- Bottled water and nonperishable food items.
- Extra medication in case you are stuck in one place longer than expected.
- If you’re handy, duct tape, cable ties and assorted fuses (whichever is best for your car) are all useful tools to have on hand for quick fixes before the car is properly serviced.
- A small fire extinguisher can be helpful, but if your car is on fire, the best option is to get out quickly and call the fire department.
For extra 'protection'...according to AAA...keep these items in your glove box:
- A bottle of antibacterial gel. You don’t have to be a germaphobe to be cognizant of the number of unhealthy particles floating around your door handles and steering wheel – especially after pumping gas.
- Pen. Not just for exchanging information in case of an accident, but a nearby writing utensil always seems to come in handy – and is never around when you need it.
- Registration and insurance card. Some will make the argument to keep your registration card in your wallet in case your vehicle is stolen, but it’s also smart to keep a copy in your glove compartment along with your insurance card. Everything might be computerized, but law enforcement will still require this information if you are pulled over or require their assistance. The last thing you want is to nervously swipe around your smartphone to find it.
- Napkins. You might stuff your center console with these, but it’s also smart to keep a few neatly folded in the glove compartment just in case. You never know when a spill is going to happen.
- Maps. We all love GPS, but technology can sometimes be quirky. An old-fashioned map, on the other hand, can do no wrong (unless it gets wet, of course).
- Gum and/or mints. Fresh breath rules!
- Tire gauge. Last on the list but certainly not least is a (non-digital) tire gauge. Checking your tires regularly for any potential problems and proper pressure is essential to keep you and others on the road safe.
- Backup cellphone charger.
- A window punch/LifeHammer.