Driving in Moose Country
Per mile driven, Alaska has one of the highest rates of moose-vehicle collisions in the world.
Moose can dart into oncoming traffic without warning, and collisions can be deadly for moose and motorists. When you see wildlife in or near the road, warn other drivers by following the advice of Miles the Moose:
Hi, I'm Miles the Moose. Here are some helpful tips I recommend for all drivers:
- Slow down, especially in bad weather, at night, or whenever visibility is reduced.
- Be alert! Scan both sides of the road for wildlife.
- Keep ample distance from other cars.
- Clean vehicle windows and headlights regularly to improve visibility when driving.
- Look for more moose. Cows often have calves nearby, though one or the other may not be visible from the road.
- Know the moose "hot spots" or local places where moose often cross the road, and watch for moose crossing signs.
- Use hazard lights! Know how to turn them on in any vehicle. Give them a flash while driving to warn other drivers anytime you observe wildlife on or near the road.
Give your HAZARDS a FLASH to avoid a crash!
What time of year should I be concerned?
Roadside vegetation can attract hungry moose in all seasons, creating a safety hazard year-round, but it is over the winter months that most moose-vehicle collisions occur. Drivers have more difficulty seeing in the dark and moose can save energy by traveling on plowed roads. Moose are most active around sunrise and sunset, which coincide with peak commuting times in the fall and winter.
How prevalent are moose-vehicle collisions in Alaska?
Not all collisions are reported, but it is likely that more than 800 vehicle accidents are caused by moose collisions each year. Often moose don't survive a collision, and people can be killed or severely injured. In some cases, the fate of a moose in unknown because it disappears soon after the accident.
Reporting a collision, even if it seems minor, is important. It helps biologists and road planners learn what factors increase the likelihood of a moose-vehicle collision. Call your local police department or 911 if you witness or are involved in an accident.
Moose-vehicle collisions in Alaska- where do they occur?
Drivers might wonder what areas are most dangerous and where they should be especially vigilant about looking for moose. Alaska Department of Fish and Game has developed a Moose Vehicle Collision story map — an interactive tool that allows drivers to explore maps of Alaska communities with the highest rates of moose-vehicle collisions, including Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Valley, and Fairbanks.
Click on the heat map to start exploring! Choose a community and a heat map appears, illustrating where moose collisions are most common. Zoom in and you can view information about an individual accident, including time of day, weather, lighting, and crash severity.
- Moose Safety Tips From the Alaska Highway Safety Office
- Wildlife and Highways Workgroup (ADF&G – DOT&PF)
- Moose Vehicle Collisions Rack Card (PDF 853 kB)
- Miles the Moose Coloring Sheet (PDF 549 kB)
- Moose Safety Activity Packet (PDF 248 kB)
Moose Collision Hot Spots
Give Your Hazards a Flash to Avoid a Crash
See the Moose, Don't Hit the Moose