• Pete

Wildlife | Emergencies

Updated: 4 hours ago


I love animals of all types. They are always loving, happy, and are exciting to see when out and about. When it comes to driving around animals and wildlife, there are a few things we have to consider. Most of all, we have to remember that at highway speeds we cannot react suddenly to a hazard that appears out of the blue. Because at such a high speed, you will end up rolling your car or worse. Every movement you make in a car will become more amplified as your speed increases.

Kingswood deer

When driving in an area with a lower speed limit such as a neighborhood, or even a school area, we are already driving at a speed that would allow us to safely react to an animal running out onto the road in front of us.

The geese at Sullivans Pond in Dartmouth always use the crosswalk, literally.

Two examples of why we must not react suddenly on the highway for wildlife are; a person was driving on Highway 102 last December when they saw a deer. They jammed their brakes on and were rear ended by 6 cars. Another example would be from one of my student’s parents who just a few weeks ago rolled their car to avoid a deer which didn’t even end up crossing their path. We can’t swerve or brake suddenly at high speeds unless it is an absolute life or death situation for us or another motorist, we have to hold the wheel steady and take our foot off of the pedals.

Almost Hit A Deer On The Highway

Women trying to save ducks charged for causing fatal accident

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; “Deer season means animal strike season on the roads”

Do deer whistles work? Well, it depends who you ask. How do deer respond to sonic and ultrasonic sound waves or do they even react at all? The studies can’t seem to determine anything other than more studies are needed.

"Animal-strike-related insurance claims are more than twice as frequent as the yearly average in November, when the search for a mate keeps the big bucks on the move, according to an analysis of claims from 2006 to 2018 conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute. Deer are most active in the early morning and early evenings, so expect them at those times. The data does not include information about the type of animal. However, both the timing of the spike in crashes and the greater damage they cause suggest that most of these collisions involve deer, rather than smaller animals."


You are most likely to see deer in the early mornings and evenings. They

usually run out at the last second. Do. Not. Swerve for deer. Hold the steering

wheel straight and let off the pedals. One time I was riding my motorcycle up by

Shubenacadie. I was looking up ahead and then suddenly I looked down at 110 km/hr to see a deer walking into my path about 200 ft ahead. I knew I was done at that moment. For whatever reason the deer stopped on the broken line in my lane

and waited for me to pass before crossing.

A nice sunset on Highway 102 in Shubenacadie. This is when deer are most active.

Avoid moose at all costs

Moose are a whole different animal to deal with than deer. They're larger and more powerful. Avoid moose at all costs. They can flip your car over with no effort at all. This driver is very lucky that they didn’t swerve or get pushed into the path of the oncoming tractor trailer.

*Dash cam* Moose crash

Crazy moose challenging a train - Moose do not back down from anything, ever

Moose licks car- Close encounter – Alberta Canada

Wildlife crossings keep animals safe

Some Nova Scotia highways now have wildlife crossings.

'Two-stage Super•Cor construction keeps highway traffic moving at Windsor, NS'


Crows are the smartest animals you will ever encounter in traffic. They like to sit on the side of the highway as you approach and will wait until you are inches away from them, then casually move out of the way. There's a National Geographic documentary on YouTube about crows that shows how smart they are. It's insane.

A Murder of Crows National Geographic


During an emergency your adrenaline will become elevated but remember, staying calm is always the best thing to do in emergency situations. The easiest thing to do when you’re not sure what to do during an emergency, is call 911. They deal with this stuff everyday and they can coach you through anything.

BLOCKED VISION - If your hood opens suddenly or your vision through the windshield becomes blocked, you can open the side window so you can see the road. Always close the hood of your car firmly!

Car Hood Flies Open While Driving

FIRE – If you see smoke come from under the hood, pull off the road and park your vehicle. Get away from the car and call 911.

Vehicle Fire In Shubenacadie Nova Scotia

Vehicle fire in Truro Nova Scotia

Never try to drive through an area that is burning. The smoke can be thick and could blind you.

Porters Lake forrest fire April 2020

This secret glow in the dark handle can be found in the trunk or every vehicle.

GOING INTO WATER – A vehicle will normally float for a while, and you should have time to remove yourself before it starts to sink. Release your seat belt and escape through a window. If the vehicle sinks before you can remove yourself, get into the back seat. An air pocket can form there as the weight of the engine pulls the vehicle down front first. When the vehicle settles, take a breath and escape through a window.

Dump Truck Backs Into Halifax Harbour



Use anything you can find to smash the window, and remember when it breaks that water will come rushing in. The metal part of your seat belt, or your headrest, or even your cell phone can be used to break the glass and escape.

360-degree video! Escaping the submerged car

Handy items to have in your vehicle

  • Tool kit

  • Tire compressor or can of flat fix

  • Non-perishable food and water

  • Roadside flares or warning lights

  • Cell phone charger

  • Flashlight with spare batteries (most cell phones have one)

  • First-aid kit

  • Tire replacement tools like jack and lug wrench. Remember that many newer vehicles no longer come with spare tires. Something about saving the environment.

Carbon Monoxide

Electrical wires on the roadway

Stay in the vehicle if at all possible. Do not touch the ground or anything outside the vehicle. Staying in the vehicle is always the first choice, but if you must exit because of other circumstances, such as fire, you need to jump clear with both feet together, while not touching any other part of the vehicle.

Queensland Beach

Lights-Out at Intersections

Be super paranoid in these situations as the intersection becomes a 4-way stop. Many motorists will not stop.

Lights Out At Intersections; Stay frosty

Watermain break in Bedford Nova Scotia

Emergency Health Services - Vehicle Flagging

Emergency responders will wrap blue tape around any vehicles that are along the sides or off the road, to indicate they have already dealt with that accident.

Never stop on a highway shoulder

Never ever stop on the shoulder of the highway unless it is a legit emergency. Many drivers are not paying attention and one could easily drift over and hit you. If your car breaks down, get your stuff and get away from the sides of the highway, then call for help.

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