Greg discusses what to do when encountering wildlife on the road in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.
Here's a full transcript of the episode.
Rob Carnie: They are mating. They are being hunted. Wildlife are running wild across the Saskatchewan. And Greg Marcyniuk from Heritage Insurance, our insurance expert on 800 CHAB is here with — well some friendly neighborhood warnings for the general public, especially the motoring public, Greg.
Greg Marcyniuk: That's correct, Rob. By last year alone, there were over 16,000 wildlife collisions. There was over $29 million paid out. And there actually were four fatalities, and approximately over 327 people were injured. So these are, you know, statistics that a person has to be well aware of.
Rob: And these are Saskatchewan numbers.
Greg: These are Saskatchewan numbers. As well, we're coming in to our peak time because the animals are mating, as well as they're being hunted. So you have to be very aware of them. And the biggest time of day is dawn, and at dusk.
So first of all, you really want to watch your speed, especially if you see any yellow wildlife signs whatsoever. Slow down and really keep an eye on the road. It's important that you scan from shoulder to shoulder, because that is your best defense.
And when you do come up, and you do see the lights or the eyes, reflection of the eyes, or as far as any animals on the side, try to first of all remain calm. Slow down in front of you if you can stop. And if the animal appears and surprises you, remember to break firmly and stay in control of your vehicle. And avoid swerving because you might turn into the oncoming traffic or roll into a ditch. And when a collision is unavoidable, aim your vehicle to the spot where the animal came from, not where it's going.
And again, you always want to look at where you want to drive to, don't look at the animal. Look at where it came from and drive towards there. Try for a glancing blow versus a head-on collision. And just before hitting the animal, let up on the break. That way your front end will pop up, and in all likelihood the animal won't come over top of you.
And again, hitting an animal, very traumatic experience. If possible, move to the shoulder and turn on your hazard lights. Take a minute just to recompose yourself, and then assess the damage to the vehicle.
Do not approach the animal. Again, I've talked about this before. Especially if it appears to be wounded. Injured animals can be very dangerous. So call the police — the RCMP detachment — if there's been any injuries as far as human or if there is significant damage to your vehicle. If not, you can proceed and then just file the claim as per usual.
Very important to note that if you do have a package policy on your vehicle, typically wildlife coverage is a zero deductible. So a very good idea to have that just in respect to that alone.
Rob: Tips are available in person at Heritage Insurance or online?
Greg: That's correct, nohassleinsurance.ca, or come on down the corner of First and Fairford West and see any of our fine people.
(Video transcription by Speechpad)