Wildlife a hazard to motorists: Manitoba Public Insurance

November worst month for collisions with wildlife

October 26, 2009 – On average 1,600 collisions with wildlife are reported to Manitoba Public Insurance each November, making it the worst month for wildlife-related collisions.

“More than 10,000 wildlife claims are reported yearly,” said Clif Eden, Manager of Road Safety, Manitoba Public Insurance. “Motorists should be wary of animals crossing in front of their vehicle. Unfortunately, over the last five years two people have been killed and hundreds injured due to hitting the animal, or attempting to miss the animal.”

“Motorists are also advised to pay special attention to wildlife crossing signs and be particularly cautious,” said Eden. “A few seconds of caution could avoid a tragedy. If you’re travelling in an area you know to be heavily populated by deer, you should slow down and anticipate an animal crossing in front of your vehicle.”

In addition to the human loss, there’s an economic cost – $28.9 million was paid out in wildlife claims last year by Manitoba Public Insurance.

October is traditionally the second worst month, with an average 1,300 wildlife collisions reported to Manitoba Public Insurance each year.

Provincial wildlife officials explain that October and November are the worst months because it’s mating season for deer populations, resulting in increased travel by the animals.

Brandon-Westman, Steinbach, Dauphin and Lac du Bonnet regions have historically experienced higher than normal wildlife claims, explained Eden. Winnipeggers should also be on alert with an average of 350 wildlife claims annually reported within the perimeter of the capital region.

Tips for motorists:

  • Use your high beams to help locate deer near the road
  • Slow down when travelling in an area known to have wildlife
  • If you see an animal on the roadway blow your horn
  • Avoid swerving—you may lose control or collide with oncoming traffic
  • Brake hard only if other traffic isn’t following you closely

About Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba Public Insurance is a non-profit Crown Corporation that has provided basic automobile coverage since 1971. Our services are available throughout Manitoba in claim centres and Customer Service centres. www.mpi.mb.ca