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Canberra dishonourably crowned the national hot spot for animal collisions

By  AAMI


Collisions between vehicles and animals most frequently occur in Canberra, according to the latest AAMI Animal Collisions Report.

While the nation’s capital city was revealed as the country’s top region, New South Wales had seven regions place in the top 10 making it the number one state for animal collisions. 

Analysis of 20,000 accident insurance claims from across the country during 2016 found on animal collisions peak in the cooler months, presenting a serious danger for both drivers and animals.

AAMI Spokesperson, Ashleigh Paterson, said colliding with an animal can be a frightening experience for both the driver and animal, and can result in serious damage or injury.

“Drivers need to be extra vigilant on the roads during this time of year especially in areas which are renowned for wildlife sightings,” Ms Paterson said.

“As we enter the cooler months, driving conditions change due to the shorter days and poorer weather conditions. This change also means motorists are sharing the road more often with animals as their peak travel times are during dawn or dusk.”

The AAMI Collision Report revealed the top hotspots across the state are: 

National

1. Canberra (ACT)

2. Heathcote (Victoria)

3. Cooma (NSW)

4. Goulburn (NSW)

5. Queanbeyan (NSW) 

6. Broken Hill (NSW)

7. Dubbo (NSW) 

8. Jindabyne (NSW) 

9. Muswellbrook (NSW)

10. Bendigo (VIC)

“It’s no surprise these areas experience the highest number of animal collisions, given their regional location and proximity to bushland with large wildlife populations,” Ms Paterson said.

“Across all states, kangaroos are reportedly the most commonly hit animal, with four out of five claims attributed to kangaroos. Wombats, cattle and wallabies are also some of the frequently hit animals.

 “Wildlife is unpredictable and can appear out of nowhere so it’s vital to be extra cautious, particularly in areas which high volumes of wildlife.

 “It’s important for drivers to slow and brake if they see an animal on the road, but avoid swerving. It’s far less dangerous to keep driving and damage your vehicle than swerve to avoid an animal and collide with another vehicle or tree.”

New South Wales

Victoria

Queensland

Tasmania

Australian Capital Territory

South Australia 

Western Australia

AAMI’s tips for sharing the road with animals:

  • If you notice road kill, slow down and pay extra attention. It’s an indicator of wildlife in the area.
  • If you spot a kangaroo crossing the road, it's a sign that more roos will be following as they move in groups.
  • If you see an animal on the road, slow down and brake, but avoid swerving so as not to endanger yourself and other drivers on the road. It’s far less dangerous to keep driving and damage your vehicle than swerve to avoid it and collide with another vehicle or tree.
  • If you’re involved in a collision with an animal, stop to check its welfare, but only if it is safe to do so. If the animal is alive and injured call your local wildlife rescue service.
  • If it’s a dead kangaroo, check if it is a female and if there’s a joey(s) in her pouch or around her. Pouches/ flaps of wombats and echidnas should also be checked as well as the surrounding area, as often young echidnas are dislodged during a vehicle collision.
  • Drive slowly and be extra vigilant when driving at dawn or dusk as this is when animals are most active.

Use your peripheral vision and be aware of your surroundings, especially when travelling through forest or grassland areas where animals are not clearly visible.

Below is a true animal collision story. Warning: no animals were harmed in the making of this film.