Animals in rut

As summer slowly fades to a pleasant memory and Mother Nature pulls out her autumn colours, we find ourselves into another animal rutting season. From mid September until the snow flies, all the big wildlife animals will be looking for a mate, and they’re definitely NOT looking for traffic before crossing the road. The males are also extremely aggressive, so we really need to be on our toes while driving, especially between dusk and dawn. If you see a large animal on the highway, resist the urge to swerve to try and avoid it. Swerving runs the risk of an over reaction which could land you on your side in the ditch, or veering into the oncoming lane.  The best action is to turn off your headlights and use the truck’s daytime running lights.  You’ll have enough light to see, but you won’t be blinding them into paralysis (the proverbial “deer in the headlights”). Brake hard, but stay in your own lane if at all possible.  Do NOT make any sudden violent movements of the steering wheel, as you could easily end up in the ditch, or jack knife if the road is slippery. If you do collide with the animal, and the truck is still drivable, drive to a safe place at least a mile away and inspect for damage. If the truck is not drivable, use your satellite or cell phone to call for assistance.  Do not get out of the vehicle, because if the animal is only injured, they are liable to attack if they are able, and even something as small as a fox still has teeth, and possibly rabies. A rabies shot is something you definitely do NOT want.  It hurts like the dickens. A deer or a moose could easily trample you to death, and an injured bear is something you want no part of.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.