The Superior East Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning motorists after OPP cruisers were involved in two moose collisions in the last month. The collisions occurred on Highway 101 between Wawa and Chapleau, with both cruisers travelling below highway speeds.
Peak times for moose collisions are Spring when the animals seek road salt in ditches and look for open areas to escape biting insects, and Fall during mating season. Moose are most active just before sunrise and just after sunset, when light levels are low. Local data shows that most moose collisions in Superior East occur in May, June, July, and October. They usually occur in the dark, when the weather is clear. Superior East OPP have responded to a total of 32 moose collisions so far in 2022, with 12 collisions just since June 1, 2022.
Moose can weigh more than 1,000 pounds, which means a colliding with a moose can cause serious damage to vehicles and potentially fatal injuries to vehicle occupants.
To reduce your risk of a moose collision:
- Slow down. Speeding reduces reaction time and increases the force of impact.
- Watch for yellow wildlife warning signs, they are placed in areas of high activity.
- Scan the road and watch for movement or glowing eyes. Passengers can help watch for animals, too.
- When possible, use high beams at night.
- Stop as safely as possible if a moose runs out in front of you. Try to avoid swerving suddenly as it may result in loss of control.
- Remember: If you see one moose, others may be nearby.
If you are involved in a moose collision:
- Pull off the road and turn on your hazards.
- If you can see the animal, try to safely determine if it is dead or injured. If the animal is injured, do not approach it.
- Call police immediately. The animal could be on the road, posing a serious hazard to other drivers.
Stay alert and take these precautions to reduce collisions, save lives and protect wild animals.