A moose in the forest. LEHTIKUVA


September marks the peak season for moose collisions on Finnish roads. During this time, moose are highly active, and the changing autumn weather can pose challenges for motorists. The regions with the most moose collisions are Northern Ostrobothnia and Uusimaa.

Moose are most active during this time of the year, contributing to an increase in accidents on the roads.

Last year, moose were involved in nearly 1,500 accidents across the country, with September seeing the highest number of incidents.

The heightened moose activity during autumn is attributed to their migration to winter pastures, the rutting season, and the hunting season. While the peak season for moose accidents is in September and October, drivers should remain vigilant throughout the remainder of the year. For instance, last year, moose collisions were still prevalent in December.

"The weather conditions also play a role in the increase of moose accidents during the fall. In particular, roads can become slippery in October due to nighttime frosts or fallen leaves, and mornings and evenings are darker. During the autumn, the low-lying sun can easily cause glare," said Mikko Pöyhönen, Director of Vehicle and Property Services at Fennia.

The proportion of moose-related accidents has decreased as accidents involving white-tailed deer and roe deer have increased. Moose accidents are particularly dangerous due to the large size of the animals and are more likely to cause personal injury than other deer species.

In recent years, the moose population has decreased. According to the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), there were approximately 77,000 moose in Finland at the end of the 2022 hunting season. Moose-related accidents have also slightly decreased since 2019.

Moose collision rates vary by region. According to Luke, moose densities are highest in the Lounais-Saari region and along the southern coast. However, most moose collisions occur in Northern Ostrobothnia and Uusimaa. These regions experience high levels of traffic, and in Northern Ostrobothnia, in particular, many busy roads intersect with moose migration routes.

"The number of accidents is influenced by factors such as the moose population, traffic volume, and the size of the region. There are also slight regional variations in the types of deer that cause accidents. For example, in Lapland, moose involvement in accidents is minimal, but reindeer accidents are more common. In southern Finland, deer and roe deer are more prominent in accident statistics," explained Pöyhönen.

Remember to Adjust Your Speed

According to Pöyhönen, the most significant way to prevent moose accidents is to reduce your speed and pay attention to moose warnings.

"Even a slight reduction in speed in areas where signs warn of moose can significantly affect the risk of accidents. Moose warnings are intentionally placed at points where moose typically cross the road. Moose often prefer the same routes when crossing roads," Pöyhönen pointed out.

Moose are particularly active during twilight hours. This should be considered when planning trips, and if possible, drivers should travel during daylight hours. This can also reduce the risk of accidents since drivers are more alert and traveling during daylight.

Tips to Avoid Moose Collisions:

  1. Slow down, especially in areas with moose warnings. Even a small reduction in speed can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

  2. Keep an eye on the roadside for moose. Particularly in areas where moose fences end or signs of hunters are visible, it's a good idea to slow down.

  3. If a moose runs onto the road, try to avoid it from the direction it's coming from.

  4. Drive alert and well-rested, at a moderate speed. Avoid driving in poor weather conditions, if possible. Always wear seat belts and focus on the road. Moose accidents often occur because situations develop unexpectedly, and drivers don't have time to react. Reaction times decrease further when driving while tired or at excessive speeds.

  5. If you or someone else is involved in an accident with a moose, warn other traffic and attend to any injured individuals. Call emergency services at 112 and provide a precise location description.