Eyes on the road
It’s that time of year when everyone’s step gets a little quicker, moods start getting a little lighter and the daydreaming of warm sunny days become more and more frequent.
That’s not to say winter is history, since April and even May can bring snow our way, but the longer hours of daylight and somewhat sporadic warmer temperatures, all give a sign, as well as a lot of hope, spring is just around the corner.
What it also means is the province’s beloved immigrant from the deer family – the moose – is friskier than ever after a hard winter in the woods and is moving around more, especially near highways.
This also means the odds increase for a moose-vehicle accident, and while moose seem to be smart and elusive animals – at least during hunting season – it’s up to the humans to drive on the side of caution.
There have been many lives lost through the years due to moosevehicle accidents, and no matter how careful a driver, sometimes it just doesn’t matter because moose seem to appear out of nowhere.
There are also been many opinions on what should and shouldn’t be done to try and deter these large creatures from hanging out on or around the province’s highways – anything from a limited moose cull, fencing, open areas of hunting along highways, marking highways where accidents occurred, whistles on vehicles, reduced night time speed limits and more driver education.
However, the underlying issue with the varied and numerous opinions expressed on how to fix the problem is people are forgetting the ‘KISS’ formula. Remember, this is one? It states ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’. Or, in other words, instead of trying to find expensive or unsafe ways of reducing moose-vehicle accidents in the province, more often than not, the best solution is the simplest one.
In this case, the simplest solution is for each and every driver to be taken to task on safe driving procedures. Moose travel mostly during the night, late evening or early morning, therefore, there is an increased chance of seeing a moose along our highways during these time periods.
If there’s an increase during these times, shouldn’t we, as responsible drivers, reduce our speed and be more alert to the possibility of a moose being in the road?
In April 2003, provincial legislation banned the use of cell phones while driving, without the use of a hands-free device. However, there are many other distractions present, such as changing a CD, locating another radio station or opening a bag of chips, that are just as distracting to drivers, and takes their attention away from the road.
Once again, the simplest answer to reducing moose-vehicle accidents, or for that matter any type of accident, still remains for drivers to pay attention and adjust their driving habits accordingly.
It may not eliminate all of them, as accidents of any sort, whether they are in the home or on the road, are bound to happen.
Safe driving to all, and until the moose know highways are for cars, keep your attention on the road. – Kevin Higgins, Editor-Manager