Early fall is the breeding season for moose in Northern New York. During this time moose are wandering looking for mates, leading them to areas where they are not typically seen. While this improves the opportunities for people to enjoy sightings of moose, it also increases the danger of colliding with one on the roadway.
Moose are most active at dawn and dusk, which are times of poor visibility. Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown to black coloring and their height—which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle headlights.
Take the following precautions to prevent moose-vehicle collisions:
- Use caution when driving at dawn or dusk, especially during October—reduce your speed, stay alert, and watch the roadsides.
- Slow down when approaching moose standing near the roadside, as they may bolt at the last minute when a car comes closer.
- Moose may travel in pairs or small groups, so if a moose is spotted crossing the road, be alert for others that may follow.
- If a moose does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to hit a fixed object such as a tree or pole.
- If a moose is hit and killed by a vehicle, the motorist should not remove the animal unless a permit is obtained from the investigating officer at the scene of the crash.
Photo of Moose at Helldiver Pond in the Adirondacks’ Moose River Plains by John Warren.