Canberra named animal collision capital

Posted: 10 May 2018 2:47 am
News

Car driving in the outback

While Victoria has the most incidents on a state level.

For the second time in a row, Canberra has earned the unfortunate title of having the highest number of collisions between motorists and animals. In fact, an AAMI report shows that 10% of the city’s motoring insurance claims arise after hitting wildlife.

AAMI studied 9,000 motoring insurance claims nationwide, lodged during the last year. The insurers were then able to name the country’s most prominent animal accident areas.

Australia's animal collision hotspots

  1. Canberra (ACT)
  2. Goulburn (NSW)
  3. Sunbury (VIC)
  4. Cooma (NSW)
  5. Dubbo (NSW)
  6. Heathcote (VIC)
  7. Seymour (VIC)
  8. Jindabyne (NSW)
  9. Bendigo (VIC)
  10. Broken Hill (NSW)

In 81% of accidents, drivers are most likely to make contact with a kangaroo, 5% involved a wallaby and 3% hit a wombat. Some of the claims involved dogs, emus, cows, foxes and even a turkey.

Winter months warning

AAMI spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson gave car owners a warning about driving during the winter months.

“As the days shorten, motorists are sharing the road with animals for longer periods of time as they are most active during dawn or dusk,” Paterson said.

While winter presents itself as a period of heightened danger, Paterson said that road users should remain alert at all times.

“Wildlife is unpredictable, so we encourage drivers to always expect the unexpected on the road, particularly in signposted wildlife areas," said Paterson.

AAMI published some additional tips for safer driving.

  • Roadkill. If you spot some roadkill up ahead, this could be an indicator that other wildlife is in the area. Slow down and proceed cautiously.
  • Kangaroo crossing. If you see a kangaroo crossing the road, remember that these animals travel in groups. There could be more about to cross.
  • Don’t swerve. Swerving out of your lane to avoid an animal is not only dangerous for you and your passengers but also for oncoming traffic. Instead, brake and slow down, but don’t change course.
  • Check animal. But only if safe to do so. If you do hit an animal, stop in a safe place and check how it’s doing. If the animal is alive, remember that it will be panicking and could lash out without provocation. Call the local wildlife rescue service. If it’s a female kangaroo or wombat and, sadly, it has died, see if there is offspring in its pouch. Look around the crash area, too, as a youngster may have been thrown clear of the accident.
  • Be observant. Animals are difficult to spot especially in forest or grassland areas so keep an eye out at all times.

Read our guide on what to do if other vehicles are involved in the accident. If you’re driving a rental car at the time, we have a guide on what to do after a hire car crash.

In car news

Picture: Shutterstock

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