Avoiding A Crash With A Moose
By John Graves, Registered Master Maine Guide

Attention drivers in Maine. The moose are moving and there are collisions daily, especially in the spring and fall. After many years of driving in moose country, I am offering my tips on how to avoid colliding with a moose or minimizing the damage if you do strike one.

SLOW DOWN AND STAY ALERT in moose areas.

If you see one moose, be aware that others may also be present and might run in front of you.

If you see a moose standing in the ditch, donít assume that it will stay there. SLOW DOWN!

Donít follow other vehicles too closely, especially at night. Give yourself plenty of time to react in case the vehicle in front of you encounters a moose.

To help you see a moose in the road at night, focus your eyes about two feet above the roadway, at the point where your headlights blend into darkness. Your peripheral vision will alert you to movement on either side within range of your headlights.

The part of the moose that you will see first will be the LIGHTER COLORED LOWER LEGS.

Their eyes are dull and will not reflect like a deerís eyes. LOOK FOR WHITE LEGS.

When approaching on coming vehicles, to avoid headlight glare, focus your eyes to the right toward the edge of the road until the approaching vehicle has passed.

If you see movement ahead, HIT YOUR BRAKES HARD to slow your vehicle down in a straight line as quickly as possible.

If a collision with a moose seems eminent, release the brake and STEER TOWARD ONE END OF THE MOOSE OR THE OTHER. This will push the moose to one side, rather than causing it to fly up over your hood and into the windshield. By releasing the brake, your vehicle will hit higher up on the moose and it will be less likely to hit the lower legs which will toss the body toward the windshield in a broadside hit.

The instant before the crash, close your eyes tightly to avoid broken glass in your eyes.

Never swerve at high speed or drive off the roadway to avoid hitting any animal.

Good luck and be safe on Maineís highways.

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