black bear on a rock

How to Avoid Wildlife While Driving in Tennessee

Many of us will take road trips this summer – it’s a great way to see the beautiful state of Tennessee. It can be exciting to take a side road “just because” or to enjoy one of our most beautiful national parks: Smoky Mountain National Park.

Part of the fun is seeing wildlife, too. Who doesn’t get a thrill from catching a glimpse of a deer, coyote, or wild turkey? You may even see a bear! 

However, wildlife on the road creates a severe hazard for you as a driver. According to the Pew Trust, an estimated 1 million to 2 million crashes between motor vehicles and large animals such as deer occur yearly in the U.S., causing approximately 200 human deaths, 26,000 injuries, and at least $8 billion in property damage, and other costs. 

How Can I Stay Safe While Driving This Summer?

We’ve got some top tips on avoiding wildlife on the road this summer to help you stay safe:

  • Don’t Panic. Depending on the species of animal you see on the road, you may be startled. Being prepared and thinking ahead reduces the chances of you or the animal you encounter being injured. 
  • Do Slow Down. Slow down as much as you can when you see an animal. Check your rearview for another vehicle behind you to ensure it’s safe to stop. Do not brake so hard and fast that your car skids. Remember that swerving at higher speeds isn’t safe.
  • Do Be Mindful. Steer your vehicle towards the outer edge of the roadway on the side the animal is on; this may encourage the animal to move across the road more quickly.

How Do I Handle A Collision With Wildlife?

If a collision does occur, here are some ways you can handle this situation:

  • Do Protect Yourself. The impact may be very detrimental if the animal you are approaching is large, such as a deer, moose, or elk. Lower yourself down into your seat so that the dashboard shields as much of your body as possible if you have time. Large animals like these often shatter a vehicle’s windshield. The lower your position in your vehicle, the less likely you are to suffer serious injuries. 
  • Don’t Leave Your Vehicle. If you do collide with a large animal, stay inside your car or truck. An injured deer, moose, or elk can be very defensive and dangerous. Turn on your emergency flashers to warn other drivers of your accident. 
  • Do Call For Help. After an impact with a large animal, regain control of your vehicle and pull off the road to a safe space. You may need to call 911 for assistance with damages or injuries. 

At Tow Pro, we are a reliable towing and hauling company available every day of the week, including holidays. Call us at (615) 256-8697 (TOWS) if you need assistance, or reach us at our toll-free number at (888) 695-1555. 

All it takes is one call, and we can handle the rest!

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