It can be a tricky thing when driving at night. Especially when wildlife decides to take a late-night stroll on the road. Across the world, several wildlife animals get hit by a car at night. In Finland alone, over 4,000 reindeer die each year due to car accidents.
The sad and dangerous occurrence racks up damages estimated to be €15 million (almost $18 million) a year. This has inspired groups like the Finnish Reindeer Herders Association to come up with solutions. They want to try and prevent such accidents and save the precious wildlife and drivers on the road.
One simple yet efficient way to try and prevent further accidents was to spray the deer with reflective paint. That way, they can stand out and be easier to spot when light hits them.
Back in 2014, the Reindeer Herders Association first applied the paint to various parts of the deer, giving them a bicycle vest appearance. With this action, the organisation hoped that it will make the deer more visible to passing cars. The idea was that it would give motorists more time to slow down when they spot the deer.
Anne Ollila, chairwoman of the Reindeer Herders Association, explained further. "The spray is being tested on fur at the moment, but it may be even more effective on the antlers. This is because they are seen from every side."
Photos of the reindeer showed the antlers and parts of the animal's back glowing in the dark.
This was still a great idea in theory. In practice, though, the Finnish Reindeer Herders Association found that it was less effective. However, the organisation is not giving up just yet. They added, "[The antlers] interest broadly around the world and was the best campaign so far. There are some problems with the durability and utility, but the product development continues."
The reflective paint is just one solution by Finland to keep animals safe. Another effective way is also now seen in several areas globally. They are building wildlife crossings that help animals pass over busy roadways and into their natural habitats.