At Wink’s Body Shop, we often experience an increase in the number of people who bring their vehicles in for auto body repair in Ithaca. We’re not surprised by this because there are always more accidents between cars or trucks and wildlife in the spring. Even if you haven’t been in an accident, you’ve probably noticed more animals along the roadways this time of year. So what gives? Why so much wildlife during the spring, and why are so many animals running out into the paths of cars and trucks?
Springtime Means the End of Hibernation
Many animals hibernate during the cold winter months, living off the layer of fat they developed during the previous seasons. In spring when temperatures rise a wide range of animals, from squirrels to bears, come out of hibernation. They are lean and hungry when they wake up and immediately go searching for food. When these animals are looking for their first meals of the season, they are more apt to run along roads or into traffic hoping to get to the best sources of food to satisfy their hunger. Since they’ve just woken up, they may not be moving as quickly as usual, so they are more likely to be hit by oncoming cars. Unfortunately, that means lots of drivers end up needing collision repair in Tompkins County, where there are lots of areas where spring wildlife amble onto roads and end up causing crashes.
Some Animals are Mating in the Spring
While deer mate in the fall, amphibians mate and lay eggs in the spring. In order to do this, they have to get to a pond or other body of water, often attempting to cross roads to get there. Why are they crossing busy roadways? They instinctively want to return to areas where they were born, but encroaching development often means there are new roads where there weren’t any before. Birds also mate in the spring, laying eggs that will hatch in the summer when food is abundant. Many people are shocked when they have a collision with a barn owl or other bird that hunts by flying low over the ground, but it’s more common than you’d think in the springtime.
Avoiding Animals on the Road
It’s a natural reaction if you see animals along the road when you’re driving to try and swerve to avoid hitting them. If there isn’t a lot of traffic and no one behind you, this might work. But stopping suddenly in traffic or swerving to avoid an animal may mean a more serious collision with another vehicle. We’ve done a lot of collision repair in Ithaca on cars that have been damaged by animals and other drivers during the spring.
To minimize the chances of needing Wink’s Body Shop because of animal-related accidents, keep these tips in mind
• Slow down when you see animal crossing signs.
• If it is too late to avoid hitting an animal, honk your horn, lock the brakes and try to duck to avoid flying glass. It is better to hit an animal and need collision repair in Tompkins County than to swerve into traffic and end up in the hospital.
• Be extra cautions when driving at dusk and dawn, when wildlife is most active in the springtime.
• If you see a deer or other herd animal, look out for others that might be with the first animal.
• Drive at the slowest safe speed to give animals more time to safely get off the road in the springtime.
If you are unfortunate enough to have an interaction with an animal while driving, contact your collision repair experts in Tompkins County, Winks Body Shop