Eastman remains the No. 1 region for vehicle-deer collisions, according to Manitoba Public Insurance.
Eastman ─ which includes the communities of Steinbach, Lac du Bonnet, Anola, Birds Hill Park area and Falcon Lake ─ experienced an average of 1,700 collisions yearly, based on statistics collected from 2013 to 2017.
Of note, the city of Winnipeg dropped one level to No. 6 on the list of top vehicle-deer collision regions in the province, which is released annually by Manitoba’s public auto insurer.
“At this time of year in particular, there’s an increased likelihood of encountering these animals when travelling through these zones. Awareness is one key to preventing a collision,” said Satvir Jatana, vice-president responsible for Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance.
“There are nearly 7,000 vehicle/deer collisions yearly in Manitoba. Our goal is to see that reduced through education, awareness, emerging driver-assist technologies, and drivers taking preventative steps.”
In addition to raising awareness of high-collision hotspots by publishing its annual listing, Manitoba Public Insurance works in partnership with the city of Winnipeg to place high visibility message signs at strategic locations identified as key wildlife-vehicle collisions hotspots. A total of 14 locations have been identified within Winnipeg.
In rural Manitoba, signs will be placed in Riding Mountain National Park, warning drivers of the potential danger of collision with wildlife and encouraging safe speeds, particularly between dusk and dawn.
On average, about 400 people are injured in wildlife-related collisions yearly. Over the last 10 years, seven people in Manitoba have been killed in crashes caused by an animal on a road. Overall, Manitobans are involved in more than 11,000 vehicle-wildlife collisions yearly according to Manitoba Public Insurance data.
The province’s Top 5 vehicle-deer collision regions are:
1) Eastman Region – 1,700 yearly collisions
2) Westman – 1,585 yearly collisions
3) Interlake – 1,200 yearly collisions
4) Pembina Valley – 665 yearly collisions
5) Central Plains – 640 yearly collisions
Tips to help keep you safe:
- Slow down when you see wildlife crossing signs and drive with extreme caution scanning the road ahead as well as shoulders and ditches.
- Animals are normally more active at dawn, dusk and at night.
- Be especially alert where brush and tall grass grow near the road.
- Watch for the reflection of headlights in the eyes of a deer, or a dark silhouette.
- Do not swerve if an animal does cross in front of your vehicle ─ brake firmly to reduce the impact between an animal and your vehicle.