DRIVING IN MOOSE COUNTRY
CARS KlLL MOOSE.
Every year hundreds of moose are killed by automobiles in Southcentral Alaska. Road kills account for about 30 percent of all the moose killed by people. Collisions with moose also result in human injury, death, and millions of dollars in property damage.
IT HELPS TO KNOW...
Most moose accidents occur in the dark of early morning and evening. This is when moose are most active and traffic the heaviest. December and January are the worst accident months. Oddly, most moose are killed on dry roads by drivers who are going too fast for conditions--way too fast to brake for a moose, and way too fast for a moose to get out of the way.
It's hard to see a moose on a dark highway. Unlike deer, their eyes usually are not reflective and their hair seems to absorb light from headlights. Nearly half the moose killed by vehicles are calves. Frequently motorists see the cow moose that crosses the road but do not see the following calf until it is too late to avoid hitting it. Additionally, younger moose haven't developed "road sense" and are apt to panic when a car drives by, often running down the highway instead of across it, or slipping and falling in their haste to escape.
You cannot legally kill an injured moose. If you are in a collision, contact the Alaska State Troopers or the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The meat will be salvaged by a charitable organization.
WHAT WE CAN DO...
We can voluntarily reduce our driving speed and be aware of moose along roadways. It helps to warn oncoming drivers with your hazard lights if there is a moose on or near the roadway.
We can urge Alaska Department of Transportation officials to keep road shoulders clear so that moose can be seen at a distance. Regular maintenance can keep new vegetation below snow levels, and away from hungry moose.
We can encourage warning signs where collisions with moose frequently occur. We can encourage better lighting and even mooseproof fences in high accident areas.
We can learn where moose are most abundant and be more cautious in these areas.
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