RAC: Animal collisions up 25%
Data released by RAC show car and animal collisions increased 25% last year.
Recently released data collected by the RAC has shown that animal collisions increased by a quarter last year. In 2016, the RAC dealt with 2,078 animal crash claims. In 2017, the figure rocketed up to 2,576 – or an average of seven incidents per day!
Take action on regional roads
According to RAC claims manager, Glen Walker, drivers are most at risk on regional roads. Driving at night further increased the chance of colliding with an animal.
If you must drive at night in regional areas, Walker offered this advice:
“Our advice is to stay vigilant, reduce your speed when driving at dawn or dusk, and keep a lookout for animal warning signs in the area,” Walker said.
“If possible, avoid driving at night in regional areas. If you do need to drive at night, reduce your speed, make sure you use your high-beams and pay attention to reflecting eyes in the distance," he said.
Drivers should also look out for road kill, as this could be a sign of other animals in the area. If you spot wildlife on or near the road, slow down and don’t swerve. Taking evasive action can be a danger to you, your passengers and other road users. Be especially careful right now, as Autumn is the deadliest season to be on the road.
Suburbs also present dangers
“It’s also important when driving in the suburbs, to be aware of cats and dogs wandering on roads, driveways and under cars,” said Walker.
What to do if you knock down an animal
If you make contact with an animal, pullover, making sure everyone in your car is ok. If it is safe to do so, you should turn around and drive back towards the animal, remaining in your vehicle. An injured animal may feel threatened or be experiencing stress. If you suspect the critter may have injuries, you can call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055. It is advisable to also take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the scene of the incident for insurance purposes.
Most Common Crash Types of 2017
Crashes with animals remain relatively low on the list of most common crash types dealt with by the RAC. The following numbers show the top six common crash types in 2017, based on 50,000 RAC claims.
- Rear end collisions – 13,321 claims
- Hit while parked – 11,803 claims
- Single vehicle collisions – 11,333 claims
- Reversed into – 5,763 claims
- Failure to give way – 5,059 claims
- Collision with an animal – 2,576 claims
You should familiarize yourself with road rules when travelling too. Here are some general suggestions for international driving.
Picture: Benny Marty / Shutterstock.com