Why are moose more dangerous than bears in Alaska?

Moose on the Roads

Moose presence on the roads results in car crashes and even fatalities.
Moose presence on the roads results in car crashes and even fatalities.
Bill Roth/Getty Images

Although you may come face to face with a moose in Alaska, keep in mind that a majority of moose-related injuries take place on the roads. Their presence on Alaskan roads and highways contributes to about 10 major injuries and one or two roadway fatalities each year [source: Alaska Department of Transportation]. From 1996 to 2006, 17 people died from moose-related car crashes [source: Alaska Department of Transportation].

These accidents happen in spite of many efforts to keep moose off the Alaskan roads. Higher-traffic areas on the highways, for instance, have wire fences, moose underpasses beneath roads to allow for safe crossing and one-way moose gates to help maintain moose-free roads. But drivers and passengers aren't the only ones suffering in these situations. About 130 moose die each year from car crashes in Anchorage alone [source: CBS News].

This situation is not unique to Alaska. Car crashes resulting from deer species, including moose, account for about 1.5 million accidents every year across the United States [source: CNN]. Driver awareness, following traffic laws and using high-beam headlights at night can likely reduce your chances of a moose crash.

If you're interested in finding out more about moose and Alaska, scan the links below.

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  • Alaska Department of Fish & Game. "Moose Increasingly Attracted to Urban Garbage." March 25, 2008. (April 7, 2008)http://wildlife.alaska.gov/pubs/news/2008/03-25-2008.pdf
  • Alaska Department of Fish & Game. "What to Do About Aggressive Moose." (April 7, 2008)http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=aawildlife.agmoose
  • Alaska Department of Natural Resources. "Bears and You." Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Updated March 24, 2008. (April 7, 2008)http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/safety/bears.htm
  • Alaska Department of Natural Resources. "Common Sense Survival." Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Updated March 24, 2008. (April 7, 2008)http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/safety/comsense.htm
  • CBS News. "Alaska's Urban Moose Adjust to Heavy Snow." Jan. 31, 2007. (April 7, 2008)http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/31/tech/main2417996.shtml
  • CNN. "Worst states for auto-deer crashes." Nov. 14, 2006. (April 7, 2008)http://www.cnn.com/2006/AUTOS/11/14/deer_crash/index.html
  • DuFresne, Jim and Spitzer, Aaron. "Lonely Planet Alaska." Lonely Planet. 2006. (April 7, 2008)http://books.google.com/books?id=b-JDesZWm5gC
  • National Parks Service. "Bear, Moose & Wolf Warnings." (April 7, 2008)http://www.nps.gov/dena/upload/Bear,%20Moose,%20Wolf%20Warnings.pdf
  • Smith, Dave. "Don't Get Eaten: The Dangers of Animals that Charge or Attack." 2003. The Mountaineering Books. (April 4, 2008)http://books.google.com/books?id=kpBOpT1oszIC&pg=PA71&dq=alaska+moose+attacks&sig=FSP3CbS8p1j1hdy1OeLXLXlSt_k#PPA71,M1
  • Stadem, Catherine. "Moose in Our Midst." Alaska. 1994. (April 4, 2008)