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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

Watch Out for Animals in Traffic

14 Mar Blog | Comments

There are a lot of things to remember when we are driving. We are supposed to wear our seat belts, adjust our mirrors, put away our phones, etc.… We are supposed to look in our blind spot and put on our turn signals before switching lanes. We need to be aware of the speed limit, because it can change depending on a person’s location. We need to be aware of other cars, pedestrians, and people riding their bicycles.

Another big one that many people forget about, many times, until it is too late, is animals. Depending on what part of the country you live in can affect the type of animal you have to be on the lookout for.

  • Deer – The biggest issues with deer is that they are not only big, but they are also unpredictable. They may appear from behind a house and decide to shoot across the road. Deer also tend to travel together. This means even if you have avoided one, you may have 2 or 3 more to worry about. Many times a person does not have a choice. The deer comes out of nowhere and that leaves the driver nowhere to go. Because they are big they can also do a lot of damage to your car.
  • Skunks – Skunks are relatively small, but they do their own type of damage. People want to avoid running over a skunk because they have a terrible odor. A skunk may not do a lot of damage to a person’s car, but they can certainly do a lot of damage to your sense of smell.
  • Raccoons – Raccoon tend to go foraging at night. This makes them very hard to see. They may only be out looking for dinner when they wonder into a road and you may not see them, due to their dark fur, until it is too late.
  • Squirrels – Squirrels are smaller than deer but they are faster and even more unpredictable. They move all over the place, so you may see one and try to avoid it, but end up running one over anyways. This happens because you thought the squirrel was going left and so you go right, but the squirrel went right and you end up hitting it.

There is no great answer to avoiding hitting animals while driving. Animals are an unpredictable element while driving. They can come out of nowhere, giving you very little time to react. And to be honest sometimes you will cause less damage by hitting the animal. If you swerve you could hit another car causing a major accident.

You can however be a vigilant defensive driver and be aware of what is going on around you at all times. In the evening hours you can also keep a lookout for their eyes. Some animals’ eyes will glow at night making them easier to see.

Being fully aware that an animal could dart out while you are driving is half the battle. The rest is a mix of driving defensively and luck.

 

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