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Brake for Moose: It Could Save Your Life



New Hampshire is famous for its moose, but having these massive mammals in abundance can also lead to dangerous and costly moose-vehicle collisions. Each year, there are many moose-related accidents in the Granite State, some of which result in injuries or death to drivers and passengers. NH Fish and Game wildlife officials and law enforcement officers urge drivers to use caution when on the roads, especially at dusk and dawn, for your safety and that of the moose. Here is some important information to keep in mind when driving in New Hampshire:


  • New Hampshire's moose are found statewide.
  • The average moose weighs 1,000 lbs.
  • Moose are hard to see at night. They are 6 feet tall at the shoulder and your headlights will often only reveal their legs, which are the same color as the pavement. Their height also means that if you hit one, the bulk of a moose will fall on your windshield and roof.
  • Don't count on seeing "eye shine." Moose eyes do reflect light, but your headlights won't reach that high.
  • From April to November, moose are very active and the highest numbers of moose-vehicle collisions occur. In spring, yearlings have just been separated from their mothers and are apt to show up anywhere, at any time. In fall, moose are on the move because it's their mating season.
  • Moose are attracted to salt licks caused by winter road management, so it is not surprising to see them on or very near the road.


Fish and Game Moose Project Leader Kris Rines offers up some tips for safe driving in moose country:


  • Most collisions happen at dawn or dusk, but they can happen at any time of day. Stay alert!
  • Collisions occur statewide and on all types of roads, from highways to backroads.
  • Try not to drive faster than 55 mph. There is a strong correlation between speed and the severity of an accident.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Scan the sides of the roads.
  • Use high beams whenever possible.
  • Don't count on moose stopping when they see you. They are very unpredictable. Stop the car if necessary and wait.
  • Be particularly attentive and drive slowly where moose road crossing signs are posted. But remember moose cross the road wherever they like!
  • Residents and visitors both love to see these New Hampshire denizens, so please make sure you take all necessary precautions when out on the roadways. Remember: Brake for Moose!


Improving Our Chances


After a request from Littleton Regional Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Campbell McLaren to investigate methods for preventing moose-vehicle collisions, the NH Fish and Game Department, NH Department of Transportation and State of New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency have developed a comprehensive outreach plan to reduce both the number and severity of these accidents in the Granite State. The plan includes increased highway lighting; placement of scrolling-message highway signs; the production of a driver-education video; distribution of "Brake for Moose" bumper stickers; public service announcements and news releases. The partnering agencies are working toward raising awareness and teaching ways to reduce motorists' chances of hitting a moose on New Hampshire roads.


New Hampshire's award-winning "Brake for Moose" campaign is a collaborative effort of the NH Fish and Game Department, NH Department of Transportation and State of New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency.