Winter weather, poor visibility increase risk of vehicle-moose accidents in Alaska

Alaska Commissioner Marc Luiken is urging motorists to drive with caution due to recent moose-related car accidents.

As snow accumulates, moose move into lowland areas usually around highway areas, where they can travel and find more sources of food. 

The Alaska Department of Transportation (ADOT) and Public Facilities (PF) are asking motorists to be on the lookout for moose, especially during periods of darkness or during times of poor visibility. The animals often weigh between 500 and 900 pounds, posing a severe hazard to moving vehicles and the passengers within it. 

Drivers in Alaska are urged to be mindful of moose when traveling roads in Southcentral, Interior and other regions where the animals are common.

Long hours of darkness and short days with wintry conditions make the creatures more difficult to spot, increasing the potential for vehicle-and-animal collisions.

“The majority of our road kills occur during the winter months,” Kenai Area Wildlife Biologist Jeff Selinger said. “Decreased visibility due to lack of daylight, icy roads and moose movement patterns all contribute to the increased collision rates we see at this time of year.”

ADOT and PF recommend driving safely by visually scanning both sides of the road for moose and wildlife and by driving at a safe distance behind other vehicles to allow better reaction time, especially during wintry conditions or periods of poor visibility.

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State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

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