Collisions with wildlife is a recurring problem everywhere in the world, and the UK is not any different. In 2017 alone at least 1117 deer, 915 badgers, and 756 foxes suffered the consequences of a collision. In Europe, at least half a million animals die every year after collisions with vehicles. It is also worth noting that wildlife collisions can cause devastating injuries to the drivers and passengers in the vehicles as well.
Small Is Still Dangerous
Small animals can also cause bad accidents. It’s not that easy to react safely when an animal suddenly darts into the road. Not all animals behave the same way when startled either. For example, a fox often turns around so passing behind it seems reasonable but it is potentially dangerous. Even an animal of this relatively small size can destroy the chassis to such an extent that it can result in a serious car crash. If a driver swerves they can easily overturn their car or crash into oncoming vehicles.
Covid-19 restrictions have resulted in fewer people and vehicles being around and animals have moved into areas that they avoided in the past. This has greatly increased the risk of collisions.
The Dangers Of Animal Collisions
Thousands of animals lose their lives in these accidents, endangering the safety of the passengers as well. It’s safe to say that avoiding collisions with animals is a good idea for more than one reason, as they can have many negative consequences:
• Death and suffering of animals struck by vehicles
• Injury to, or death of, vehicle occupants
• Harm to endangered species
• Loss of valuable livestock or pets
• Vehicle damage
• Economic losses (cleanup, repairs to vehicles, etc.)
• Roadkill is a distasteful sight, particularly costly to locations economically reliant on tourism
Wildlife Collisions Are Common
Unfortunately, we often have no influence on human factors such as driver behavior and road conditions. A significant proportion (nearly a third) of car crashes in some areas are caused by wild animals. You might think we can’t have any influence on these accidents either – but you would be wrong. It is this significant proportion of accidents that according to driving experts, can be easily avoided.
How to prevent roadkill?
According to PETA, there are a number of actions you can take to avoid collisions;
1) Defensive driving techniques, such as driving slowly at night
2) Honking your car at animals who look like might cross the road
3) Flashing your high beams to break the sometimes hypnotic effect of the glare of your car headlights
4) Using a deer whistle/wildlife whistle/wildlife warning system.
A wildlife warning system (also known as deer whistles or wildlife whistles) can save the lives of countless animals. If you live in an area where animal sightings and collisions are common then it is sensible to fit one to your car to provide additional protection against collision-related road accidents.
There are several wildlife warning systems that you will be able to buy on the internet, however, tests on most Far Eastern products have proven that they don’t actually work.
Several authorities including the European Commission’s European Road Safety Charter has confirmed that the ‘Siren7’ Wildlife Warning System does work. The Siren 7 is designed and manufactured in the European Union and it “understands the language of animals” as it is both heard by and acts as a repellant to, a wide range of animals from foxes to deer to bears. The animals are alerted to the presence of the vehicle by the Siren 7’s 120-decibel power and range of 300 meters and attempt to avoid it preventing roadkill and accidents.