Maine Moose – Vehicle Collisions Approach Peak, Next Two Months are Most Dangerous

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Moose along the Maine roadside are becoming more common and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife along with MaineDOT warn that May and June are the most frequent months for vehicle – moose collisions.

“Given the size and mass of moose, the likelihood of serious personal injury is far greater with moose and thus it is absolutely critical for drivers to be constantly vigilant during this time of year,” says Lee Kantar, state moose biologist for IF&W.

Duane Brunell of the MaineDOT Safety Office added, “Due to a moose’s large size, every moose – vehicle accident has the potential for serious injury, so drivers need to be alert at night, especially in wooded or marshy areas.  You need to slow down, scan the roadsides for moose, and always wear your seatbelt.”

As the weather warms, roadsides are one of the first places to turn green throughout the state.  After their winter diet, moose are hungry for salt, which can be found on the side of roads, and in tender green plants.  This brings them in close proximity to vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

“Another problem is moose…especially young moose…who find themselves suddenly on their own because cows now have offspring,” said Kantar.  “Moose in May and June that get into the most trouble are likely yearlings that have been “kicked off" from the mother who has calved in May and likely have a calf at heel in June.  So please, drive safely.”

From dusk til dawn is the most likely time for moose - vehicle collisions, and 7 pm to midnight is when most occur, because moose move more during the evening after temperatures cool from their daytime highs.

  • Nearly 90% of crashes occur between dusk and dawn.
  • Almost 80% of crashes occur when it is dark.
  • Every county in Maine records moose - vehicle collisons.

To minimize your chances of being involved in a collision:

  • Reduce your speed after dark.
  • Use high beams whenever you can.
  • Buckle up!

Moose are chocolate-brown in color, which makes them hard to see at night. And if you see one, be on guard - they tend to move in groups. If you should see one, slow down, don't try to drive around it and stay in your vehicle - you put yourself and others at risk!

For more information:

http://www.maine.gov/ifw/

http://www.maine.gov/mdot/