I am well aware of the accidents due to wildlife crossing our highways, having seen a number since 1977. I happened to run into an article in the Wyoming Wildlife magazine with tips about defensive driving, written by Mark Gocke, titled "Defensive driving, keep yourself and our wildlife safe on the highways."
Arizona, like some other states, is lucky to have a considerable amount of wildlife. Because of recent wild fires and the proximity of highways to many forests, the danger of accidents involving human and animal life is frequent and costly.
In the March 2006 issue of Wyoming Wildlife Mark Gocke wrote:
"Tips to avoid wildlife on the roads:
- Expect wildlife on our roads. This is Wyoming (or Arizona) and we share the state with wildlife.
- If you encounter an animal on the road with high snow banks, allow it to move down the road at its own pace until it finds a place to jump off the road.
- Scan the sides of the road for wildlife.
- Stay alert while driving, and be prepared to stop.
- Wildlife crosses roads during dawn, dusk and at night.
- If you see one elk, deer or moose along the roadway, you are likely to see more.
- If you see an animal on the road, expect the unexpected. It does not instinctively know how to react to your car. Give the animal time and room to move off the road. Do not try to outrun it.
- If you see a wildlife crossing sign, pay attention. It is there for a reason."
This is sound advice, and not hard to follow, to avoid killing an animal or having a deadly accident on the road.
Joan Lasys, RN, Payson