Animals don’t wait! 6 things to consider while on the road in late autumn

October 13, 20215 min reading

We have made a list of 6 most common reasons why wild animals end up on the road in late autumn.

What do you do when a wild animal unexpectedly runs on the road? It seems that on the average 120 collisions between a wild animal and a vehicle are registered in Estonia each year, resulting in injuries to the animal or people or damage to property. Since we have once again reached a time when it gets dark earlier and earlier in the evening, we would like to remind you of who you might meet on the road and what to do when an unexpected encounter with a wild animal causes an accident.

The extent of human activity is enormous and each year more roads are built, decreasing the wildlife habitat. But wild animals are not likely to change their paths, which means that collisions with vehicles are almost inevitable. According to the Police and Border Guard Board, this year, over the past eight months, there were 16 accidents where people got injured and where one party was an animal. Ten accidents were registered in the spring and seven during the summer. Most collisions involved an elk (7), the roe deer came second (6) and the dog was in the third place (3).
Six accidents happened in Harju County, three in Ida-Viru County, two in Võru County and one in Järva County, Lääne-Viru County, Pärnu County and Põlva County each.

According to the Transport Administration the most dangerous road sections wild animal wise are mostly on the main roads near Tallinn and on a lesser scale near Tartu.

What do drivers have to consider while on the road in late autumn?

The mating season of elks and roe deer lasts from September to October in the autumn

If young animals run to the road mainly in the spring, then the mating season of elks and roe deer make them active from September to October.

Bears preparing for hibernation

Although most traffic accidents with bears take place from April to June, you should also pay extra attention from August to October. This is the time when bears actively prepare for hibernation, meaning they are busy looking for food.

Wild boar looking for food on fields

Wild boar are usually out on fields in search of food in the spring after the planting of potatoes, in July in the grain milk stage and in September until harvesting. So you should pay extra attention because their paths may cross roadways. The mating season of wild boar lasts from November to January.

Setting the clocks increases the chances of encounters between man and wild animal

Setting the clocks in the spring and autumn does not have a biological effect on wild animals but it does increase the chances of encounters between humans and wild animals to a significant extent. If in the spring humans start an hour earlier, then in autumn evenings an hour later, feeling tired and having poor visibility. In late autumn, animals affected by the light period are active in late mornings and earlier in the evening than during summer. According to the Transport Administration, the constantly changing high activity is also reflected in the statistics on accidents involving wild animals.

Poor weather conditions increase the risk of hitting a wild animal

The movement of animals is clearly dictated by weather conditions; in foggy and rainy days in the autumn roe deer and elks may be active when it is light, in clear weather conditions mainly at dusk and in the dark. Strong wind forces animals to seek better shelter and avoid high trees. Longer hours of darkness in the autumn combined with precipitation make the traffic conditions so much worse that the risk of hitting a wild animal is several times higher.

Joint hunts get animals on the move

The time of joint hunts lasts from October to January or February and usually takes place at weekends. Wild animals are forced to move around, making them cross the road more often.

In general, large predators are territorial animals who live in a specific territory year round. Roads often go through such territories, so animals settled in one place cross the road all year long and on a regular basis. Since the habitats of all of our large predators are large forests, such places can usually be found where there is extensive natural landscape on both sides of the road.

Did you know that ordinary traffic insurance does not cover damage caused by a collision with a wild animal?

Comprehensive insurance ensures compensation in the event of a collision with a wild animal, minus the deductible. If you don’t have comprehensive insurance or can’t get one due to the age of your vehicle, you should consider getting insurance cover for such a collision. See more HERE!

IIZI will help you even at night-time! In the case of a loss event don’t hesitate to call 666 0300!

In the event of an accident with casualties call 112 immediately. If there are no casualties, call 666 0300! IIZI Accident Assistance is there for you at any time and in any case, from filing a report to settling disputes. Report injured and dead animals to the state helpline number 1247.