I heard what sounded like an old wives' tale some time ago: If you are driving along a stretch of road with a moose warning, using headlights on long/high beam even during daylight will warn moose off the road.

Road hazard sign with a moose silhouette

Seeing as a collision with a moose can be fatal to both parties, I'd like to take any precaution that I can. Incidentally, an answer to the linked question relates a tale of a moose reacting to a camera flash during daylight.

So, does this particular precaution actually work?

  • 3
    If the moose is running out into the road from the woods, no dipped or main beam is going to "warn it off". You better be ready to react in time. It is you who is being warned by that sign. Commented May 9, 2022 at 18:08
  • 2
    I've had deer standing beside the road at night turn their head, look at me and the car (with high beams on), and start heading across the road. Moose are bigger and a bit more indifferent to potential threats, so even less likely to care about lights in either day or night.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 9, 2022 at 18:24
  • 1
    Also all they see is blinding light, they don't understand that it is a large mostly metal object headed their way at high speeds.
    – Nate W
    Commented May 9, 2022 at 23:31
  • 2
    I do remember a question from the theoretical exam for my drivers license that asked what to do when there is deer on the road. The correct answer was to switch the high beams off. But I do not live in moose country. Commented May 10, 2022 at 18:41
  • @Snijderfrey I think you could make that an answer.
    – Haem
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


I can't really have an opinion about daylight, as moose are more active around dusk/ dawn and night. In most cases, moose would stand more chance if it reacts rather than you react to it. However, I think most generic suggestions/advices can be summarized as below:

  1. Take the warning signs seriously, they have been placed there for a reason - Be alert, drive slow, this will improve reaction time
  2. Prefer to use high beam on straight section when you have decent line of sight
  3. If you spot a moose nearby road, do not use high beam, use dipper -- That allows the animal to react and not be entirely blinded by the high beam
  4. If at all you spot a moose on the road, do not break immediately, slow down gradually
  5. If at all you spot a moose on the road, I know the first reaction would be to steer clear, but do not swerve to avoid hitting the animal

Also, this post on Travel.SE is worth reading: Should I turn down the high beam in "deer areas"?

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