There has been a sharp increase in incidences of sheep struck and killed by cars in northwest Iceland, brought about by a number of factors.
RÚV reports that there have been about 50 reported sheep impacts in the Westfjords this year alone. By comparison, there were about 30 for the entirety of last year.
Contributing to the increase in sheep impacts has been the increase in speeding in Iceland – two-thirds of the offenses for which involved foreign drivers, who may or may not be aware of the danger of sheep wandering onto the road.
However, the sheep farms themselves play a part, in so far as many of these farms have broken or open fencing in parts, enabling sheep to escape. Some of these farms are cash-strapped to make the necessary repairs, and subsidies towards fence repair have been coming up short.
As such, if you are driving in the Icelandic countryside, take care to keep an out for sheep. Even those standing just by the road can panic and rush into the road as a vehicle approaches, so for the sake of the sheep, stay alert and observe the speed limit.