Montana Department of Transportation

Montana's wildlife are on the move

deer running across highway

Deer and elk mating season, migration to their winter areas, and fewer daylight hours for commuters all mean more chances for a collision. Most wildlife collisions occur at dawn and dusk when wild animals are most likely to be moving to feed or drink. Be aware and follow these tips when traveling:

  • Scan side to side -- on the shoulder of the road, in ditches, and far ahead to spot animals crossing or about to cross the road.
  • Pay special attention in the vicinity of deer crossing signs. These mark the general area where wildlife is known to cross.
  • Where there is one, expect more. Deer, especially, seldom travel alone.
  • Slow down and brake to avoid an impact – but don’t swerve! Swerving can confuse animals so they don’t know which way to run, take you into oncoming traffic, or cause your vehicle to roll.
  • Avoid using cruise control at dawn and dusk, and use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Always buckle up, drive sober, and alert.
  • Don't go near or touch a wounded animal because it might become aggressive. If the animal is seriously injured but still alive, notify local law enforcement, Montana Highway Patrol, or a Fish Wildlife & Parks warden.

Drive Safely

There were 227 fatalities in 2013. There have been 137 fatalities on Montana highways in 2014 compared to 163 fatalities for this same time in 2013.

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