Driving Near Wildlife

I love animals of all types. They are mostly always loving, happy, and are exciting to see when out and about. When it comes to driving around animals and wildlife, there are a few things we have to consider.

Kingswood deer

If we are driving in an area with a lower speed limit such as a neighborhood, or even a school area, we are already driving at a speed that would allow us to safely react to an animal running out onto the road in front of us. But when we are driving at highway speeds we cannot make sudden reactions to animals darting out in front of us. The reason is because at such a high speed, you will end up rolling your car or worse.

Some feathered friends using the crosswalk

The geese at Sullivans Pond in Dartmouth always use the crosswalk, literally.

Dartmouth residents heartbroken after beloved geese struck killed by car

This is an example of a motorist who likely could have stopped in time to avoid an animal but chose to keep driving and ended up killing the goose. Then they went on social media and tried to make a joke out of it. This was a very controversial incident when it happened back in 2015. The speed limit in this area is 50 km/hr. There was even a memorial service for the goose.


Two examples of why we must not stop on the highway for wildlife are; a person was driving on Highway 102 last December when they saw a deer. They jammed their brakes on a were rear ended by 6 cars. Another example would be from one of my student’s parents who just a few weeks ago rolled their car to avoid a deer which didn’t even end up crossing their path. We can’t swerve or brake suddenly at high speeds unless it is an absolute life or death situation for us or another motorist, we have to hold the wheel steady and take our foot off of the pedals.

Almost Hit A Deer On The Highway

Women trying to save ducks charged for causing fatal accident

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; “Deer season means animal strike season on the roads”

Animal-strike-related insurance claims are more than twice as frequent as the yearly average in November, when the search for a mate keeps the big bucks on the move, according to an analysis of claims from 2006 to 2018 conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute. Deer are most active in the early morning and early evenings, so expect them at those times.

The data does not include information about the type of animal. However, both the timing of the spike in crashes and the greater damage they cause suggest that most of these collisions involve deer, rather than smaller animals.


Do deer whistles work? Well, it depends who you ask. How do deer respond to sonic and ultrasonic sound waves or do they even react at all? The studies can’t seem to determine anything other than more studies are needed.

A nice sunset on Highway 102 in Shubenacadie. This is when deer are most active.

Deer Solution Blog

A famed researcher named Dietland Muller-Schwarze compares a deer’s hearing capability to that of a satellite dish. Both of a deer’s ears works independently, by comparing the sounds of each ear and detecting the direction of the source of the whistle.


Avoid moose at all costs

Moose are a whole different animal to deal with. Avoid moose at all costs. They can flip your car over with no effort at all. This driver is very lucky that they didn’t swerve or get pushed into the path of the oncoming tractor trailer.

*Dash cam* Moose crash

Moose do not back down from anything, ever.

Crazy moose challenging a train

This moose is a gangster.

Moose licks car- Close encounter – Alberta Canada

Happy moose.

Wildlife crossings keep animals safe

Two-stage Super•Cor construction keeps highway traffic moving at Windsor, NS

Some Nova Scotia highways now have wildlife crossings.


Crows are the smartest animals you will encounter in traffic. They will sit on the side of the highway as you approach and will wait until you are inches away from them, then casually move out of the way. There is even a documentary about them that shows how smart they are.

Glen Arbor crows

A Murder of Crows National Geographic

A Complete Introduction to Defensive Driving For Beginners – Part 1

A Complete Introduction to Defensive Driving For Beginners – Part 2


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