Collisions with Wildlife in BC – How to Report a Collision

Collisions with wildlife BC
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Collisions with Wildlife in British Columbia

No one wants a collision with wildlife, but sometimes, it happens, especially in beautiful British Columbia where we have many highways that may have many different animals lurking around the edges or right in the middle of the roads. While driving in beautiful British Columbia, you might encounter:

  • Bears
  • Deer
  • Moose
  • Cattle
  • Wild Horses
  • Bison
  • Mountain Goats
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Ram (Not the Dodge variety)
  • Elk
  • Caribou
  • Smaller animals

Watch for Wildlife Road Signs

Collisions with wildlife in BC
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What happens if you hit a deer in BC?

If you hit a deer or another wild animal in British Columbia, or if you see a dead animal on the road, it’s best to call the local police, RCMP, or highway maintenance contractor in the area. Authorities will need to remove the animal carcass from the roadway so it can be safe for road users coming down the road after you.

Wildlife on the road British Columbia
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Somewhere in British Columbia

How to Report a Dead Wild Animal on the Road in BC – Based on Your Location

  • Private contractors are responsible for maintaining provincial highways year-round
  • Each contract is for a specific area and all of the highway maintenance activities within that area
  • These contractors are the first point of contact for drivers, including those reporting animal collisions/dead animals on the road
  • They are available 24/7, all year

Highway Maintenance Contractors British Columbia

South Island (Victoria)1-866-353-3136
Central Vancouver Island (Nanaimo – Port Alberni)1-877-215-6006
North Vancouver Island (Courtenay)1-877-215-7122
Howe Sound (West Vancouver)1-866-918-1010
Sunshine Coast (Gibsons) 1-800-665-3135
Lower Mainland (Surrey)1-604-271-0337
Fraser Valley (Chilliwack)1-800-667-5122
South Okanagan (Penticton – Kelowna)1-866-222-4204
Kootenay Boundary (Grand Forks – Rossland)1-888-630-1420
Central Kootenay (Nelson – Creston)1-888-352-0356
East Kootenay (Cranbrook – Fernie)1-800-665-4929
Selkirk (Revelstoke – Golden) 1-866-353-3136
Okanagan-Shuswap (Salmon Arm – Vernon)1-866-222-4204
Nicola (Merritt)1-888-899-9854
Thompson (Kamloops)1-800-661-2025
South Cariboo (100 Mile House)1-800-842-4122
Central Cariboo (Williams Lake)1-800-842-4122
North Cariboo (Quesnel)1-866-353-3136
Fort George (Prince George)1-800-218-8805
Robson (McBride)1-833-667-5122
South Peace (Dawson Creek – Pouce Coupe) 1-800-663-7623
North Peace (Fort St. John)1-800-842-4122
Nechako (Vanderhoof)1-800-667-6636
Lakes (Burns Lake) 1-888-255-8055
Bulkley Nass (Smithers)1-800-842-4122
Skeena (Terrace)1-800-665-5051
North Coast (Prince Rupert & Haida Gwaii)1-800-561-5822
Stikine (Dease Lake)1-888 255-8055

You can also report

  • Potholes
  • Highway or bridge damage
  • Sign damage
  • Pavement marking
  • Drainage problems
  • Road debris
  • Electrical problems (overhead signs, street lights, pedestrian lighting, signals)
Animals on the road BC
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Does ICBC Cover Hitting a Deer?

ICBC Insurance may cover you when you hit a deer in British Columbia if you have purchased their Comprehensive Insurance, which is an optional insurance package. This Comprehensive Insurance will be useful to cover the cost of loss or damage to your vehicle from hitting a deer.

It’s also possible to purchase this option comprehensive coverage from somewhere other than ICBC, such as through BCAA.

Comprehensive covers loss or damage to your vehicle from:

  • Theft and vandalism
  • Fire, earthquake, explosion
  • Falling or flying objects such as a rock or gravel hitting your windshield
  • Hitting a domestic or wild animal
  • Weather—lightning, windstorm, hail, rising water
ICBC Comprehensive Coverage

How long after an accident can you file a claim ICBC?

You can report your claim to ICBC right away. At the latest, do it no later than six months after the collision.

Tips to Avoid Hitting Wildlife

  • Animals are most likely to be on the roadways during night, dawn, and dusk, so be extra careful during those times (or avoid driving during those times altogether)
  • Check ahead into ditches for movement
  • Animals’ eyes may reflect in your headlights; watch for this
  • Deer especially might panic when they see headlights and might freeze; go really slowly until you are well past
  • Moose will often run along the road. If it’s safe, pull over or slow down to a very low speed until the animal leaves the roadway
  • A lot of animals travel in groups. If you see one on the road, there may be more, so always slow down
  • Be extra careful during the summer, when many young animals become more mobile; they may be crossing the roads with their parents to find new homes

If you see bears or other animals on the roadway

If you’re driving in beautiful British Columbia and see bears or other exciting and beautiful animals on the side of the road, it can be tempting to stop and take a look, and/or stop to take a photo. But this is not safe and not good for the bears/animals or people.

The best thing to do is to turn on your flashing hazard lights. This will warn other drivers behind you that they may need to slow down. Slow down and cautiously keep driving through the area. Don’t forget to keep an eye on oncoming traffic and for other people or bears or animals that may be crossing the highway.

  • Stopped vehicles can fully or partially block travel lanes
  • Some sections of the highways have limited visibility
  • People walking across or around the side of the highway isn’t safe
  • Many highways have narrow shoulders
  • It can be difficult for drivers to safely pass through the area
  • Bears and other animals could be dangerous to people
  • When people feed bears, bears can lose their natural fear of humans. This leads to an increase in human-bear conflicts and vehicle-bear collisions, which can then lead to the animal being euthanized

If you do stop

  • Don’t stop randomly on the highway; only stop if there is a safe, designated pull-out area
  • Stay in your vehicle. This will keep you safe from both the bear/animal and passing vehicles
  • Keep your distance so you do not disturb bears and animals, and leave if bears or animals start to move closer to you