If you’re driving across Australia’s roads this Winter, you’re bound to spot wildlife one way or another. A beautiful sight, but one which can also lead to dangerous accidents, severe damage to your vehicle and unwittingly injuring an animal. Kangaroos and wallabies are notorious for sitting in long grass on the side of the road, then unexpectedly crossing it, too often in front of a fast-moving vehicle.
According to our latest claims data, more than 85% of animal accidents on NSW roads involve kangaroos. Staggeringly, both Aussie wildlife and drivers seem to be at a higher risk during the winter months when these animal related collisions are at their peak. Another vital reason
So, as lockdown restrictions slowly ease across the country, drivers are being urged to be extra cautious and watch out for wildlife when getting back on the roads. And since it’s been a while since we all took to the road, now is a really good time to check your insurance and what you are covered for.
Ways to avoid an animal related collision
•Take extra caution on the roads. If you can, avoid driving at dawn, dusk or night-time. This is when animals are most active, and the lack of light makes it more difficult to spot them.
•Reduce your speed inside sign posted wildlife areas.
•If you see a kangaroo on or near the road, you should try and brake, but not swerve, to avoid a collision.
•If you hit an animal and safety permits, you should try to help by moving it to the side of the road to prevent further crashes and then contact a local veterinarian or wildlife rescue centre such as WIRES on 1300 094 737.
Safety advice from the experts
NRMA Insurance Research Specialist Chris Emerson is warning NSW drivers to keep a lookout for wildlife.
“As travel restrictions ease and people are eager to head out of town to see our beautiful state, drivers are reminded to stay alert at all times, take note of any signage about local wildlife and slow down, particularly if driving at dawn and dusk,” he said.
Animals are unpredictable and can appear out of nowhere, so it’s important to slow down and be aware of your environment especially when you’re driving on roads that aren’t familiar to you.
“Colliding with a kangaroo is not only traumatic for the driver and the animal, it also causes considerable damage to cars and can also result in serious injury,” Mr Emerson added.
City drivers that may be less experienced or drivers that are unfamiliar with country roads should be extra cautious as the majority of animal collisions occur on country roads.
“How you react when you see a kangaroo on the road can potentially save lives, so it’s important to remain vigilant. If you see an animal on the road while driving, try to brake, but don’t swerve to avoid it because you could collide with another car.”