Motorists warned to watch out for wildlife on Sweden’s roads

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A stuffed moose on the hood of a car helps Niclas Dahl from the Älgskadefondsföreningen show drivers what can happen on the roads. (Magnus Hagström/Swedish Radio)
A stuffed moose on the hood of a car helps Niclas Dahl from the Älgskadefondsföreningen show drivers what can happen on the roads. (Magnus Hagström/Swedish Radio)
Motorists are being told to watch out for wild moose this week as part of a campaign drawing attention to the risk of collisions between drivers and wildlife.

This week has been dubbed the National Wildlife Accident week to coincide with when young elk calves leave their mothers and set out on their own. The non-profit group Älgskadefondföreningen organized the week and offered tips to the public on avoiding car accidents with animals, and offers pay outs to drivers.

The group’s spokesman Niclas Dahl says the young calves can weigh between 100 to 200 kilograms. He said drivers should slow down and keep their eyes both on the road and periphery.

“If you’re actively scanning the surroundings when you are driving, you have a higher chance of catching what is called those peripheral motions,” he says, increasing a motorists chance of stopping in time.

Given a moose’s large physique, crashing into one can be dangerous, even deadly, for both the animal and driver.

“There’s a chance that it will enter the car through the windshield or push down the roof so that it hits your head,” he says. “You can get serious head or neck injuries.”

The number of vehicular accidents involving moose has been slowly rising in Sweden. According to Älgskadefondsföreningen, there were 4,204 wrecks with the wild animal in 2003 and 5,771 crashes last year.

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