Ottawa, Ontario – Warmer weather and sunshine are contributing to increased wildlife activity and motorists need to use caution to avoid vehicle collisions, warns CAA North & East Ontario.

“During the months of May and June, many animals will stay close to roadways to escape biting insects,” said Korey Kennedy, manager of public and government affairs. “As collisions involving wildlife remain high in communities throughout north and east Ontario, our club reminds motorists to be observant when using local roadways in the coming months.”

According to Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, there were 13,954 reported motor vehicle collisions involving a wild animal in 2007, with many more unreported each year. On average, there is a vehicle collision with wildlife every 38 minutes in the province, and one out of every 17 motor vehicle collisions involves a wild animal.

CAANEO advises all road users to be cautious when travelling in rural areas, to pay special attention to yellow signs that warn of specific areas with a history of wildlife collision, and to remember the following tips:

– Constantly scan the roadway and its shoulders

– Use high beams when possible and watch for the glowing eyes of animals

– Brake firmly if you see animals crossing or standing on the road, and do not expect that the animal will move out of your way

– Wildlife often travel in groups, and if you see one, others may be following it

– Never swerve suddenly to avoid an animal, as this could cause you to lose control and head onto oncoming traffic

– If possible, avoid driving at dusk and dawn, which is when the majority of wildlife collisions occur

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