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Arizona Wildlife: Staying Safe on the Road with Unexpected Encounters

June 6, 2024

Driving in Arizona can be an adventure, not only because of its breathtaking landscapes but also due to the diverse wildlife that inhabits the state. From deer to coyotes, these creatures can sometimes make unexpected appearances on the road. Here’s how to stay safe and ensure your vehicle is ready for these encounters, particularly focusing on the importance of a well-maintained windshield.

Common Wildlife Hazards on Arizona Roads

Arizona’s rich ecosystem means drivers might encounter various animals. Here are some of the most common:

  • Deer Just like in many other states, deer are common in Arizona and can appear suddenly, especially during dawn and dusk.
  • Coyotes Coyotes are prevalent across Arizona and can often be seen near highways or crossing rural roads, particularly at night.
  • Javelinas These wild pigs are found throughout the state and can be particularly dangerous due to their size and unpredictability.
  • Birds Arizona’s diverse bird population can sometimes lead to birds unexpectedly flying into windshields or crossing roads.
  • Snakes Rattlesnakes and other species can sometimes be found on warm roads, especially during cooler parts of the day when they seek heat.

How a Well-Maintained Windshield Enhances Safety

A clear, undamaged windshield is crucial for safe driving, especially in areas with frequent wildlife encounters. Here’s why:

Improved Visibility

  • Clear View A clean windshield free of cracks or chips ensures you have a clear view of the road, allowing you to spot animals from a distance.
  • Reduced Glare Damages on the windshield can cause light to scatter, creating glare that reduces visibility, particularly at night.

Enhanced Reaction Time

  • Quick Decisions When you spot an animal on the road, every second counts. A clear windshield helps you react swiftly and accurately.
  • Avoiding Accidents Swift reaction can mean the difference between safely avoiding an animal or a serious accident. A damaged windshield can impede this crucial moment.

Tips for Safe Driving in Wildlife Areas

  • Stay Alert Always be vigilant, especially during dawn and dusk when animals are most active.
  • Use High Beams When driving at night in rural areas, use high beams to increase visibility, but be ready to dim them for oncoming traffic.
  • Maintain Speed Limits Driving at the recommended speed gives you more time to react to unexpected wildlife.
  • Avoid Distractions Keep distractions to a minimum. Stay focused on the road to spot any potential hazards early.

Maintaining Your Windshield

Regular maintenance of your windshield can prevent minor damages from becoming major safety hazards. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning Clean your windshield inside and out to remove any dirt, grime, or streaks that can impede your vision.
  • Repair Chips and Cracks Address any chips or cracks immediately. Small damages can quickly expand, especially in Arizona’s fluctuating temperatures.
  • Professional Inspections Have your windshield inspected by professionals periodically to ensure it remains in top condition.


Encountering wildlife while driving in Arizona is common and can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. A well-maintained windshield is essential for clear visibility and quick reaction times, enhancing your safety on the road. At Auto Glass America, we understand the importance of a pristine windshield. Contact us today to ensure your vehicle is ready for any unexpected encounters on Arizona’s roads.

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