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AAMI data reveals Australia’s animal collision hotspots

By  AAMI

Even though there’s fewer cars on the road due to COVID-19 restrictions, animal collisions are still likely to spike as winter sets in. According to the latest AAMI data, we should expect a jump of around 15 per cent between May and August.

AAMI’s Head of Motor Claims Anna Cartwright warns drivers to be on the lookout for wildlife as we head into the danger period.

“Now is the time for drivers to keep their eyes peeled for wildlife crossing roads, and be extra vigilant especially at dawn and dusk when visibility can be difficult, and nocturnal animals are more active,” Ms Cartwright said.

Animal collision hotspots

Analysis of more than 21,000 AAMI animal collision claims between 1 February 2019 and 31 January 2020 revealed that Canberra is the country’s most dangerous hotspot. At a state level, New South Wales – followed closely by Victoria – has been ranked the worst state for animal collisions, with almost one third of Australia’s animal-related accidents taking place on NSW roads.

Top animal collision hotspots per state

Location

#1 State hotspots

National

Canberra

New South Wales

Dubbo

Victoria

Heathcote

Queensland

Roma

Western Australia

Baldivis

South Australia

Port Augusta

Tasmania

Kingston

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra

While Canberra’s reign as Australia’s animal collision hotspot continues for a fourth consecutive year, new entrants to this year’s list include Dubbo in New South Wales, Heathcote in Victoria, Roma in Queensland and Kingston in Tasmania.

Kristie Newton from WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) said the summer bushfires have wiped out an estimated one billion native animals, and the devastating loss of so much bushland has left many displaced and vulnerable.

“As we head into winter, we may see increased activity particularly from nocturnal wildlife as they cross roads in search of food and water, which we saw after the drought, increasing the likelihood of them being hit,” Ms Newton said.

“As native animals come closer to the road to feed, drivers should be extra vigilant especially near water sources like creeks or gullies where thick fog can occur and reduce drivers’ visibility.”

Top five animal collision hotspots in each state

New South Wales

1.   Dubbo    

2.   Goulburn 

3.   Mudgee

4.   Cooma

5.   Inverell

Victoria

1.   Heathcote

2.   Gisborne

3.   Wallan

4.   Sunbury

5.   Woodend

Queensland

1.   Roma

2.   Goondiwindi

3.   Moranbah

4.   Middlemount

5.   St George

Western Australia

1.   Baldivis

2.   Nannup

3.   Busselton

4.   Karratha

5.   Margaret River

South Australia

1.   Port Augusta

2.   Mount Gambier

3.   Coober Pedy

4.   Morgan

5.   Whyalla

Tasmania

1.   Kingston

2.   Launceston

3.   Cambridge

4.   Hobart

5.   George Town

Australian Capital Territory

1.   Canberra

2.   Kambah

3.   Belconnen

4.   Hume

5.   Symonston

Tips for sharing the road with animals

Regardless of the city or region you’re driving in, animal collisions are always a possibility. For the safety of both you and our wildlife, be sure to always follow these safety tips when driving:

  • Stay alert and expect the unexpected.

  • Avoid driving at dawn and dusk, if possible.

  • Take extra care driving in regional areas.

  • If you see one kangaroo, expect others to be nearby.

  • Do not swerve. Slow down and brake.

  • If you notice roadkill, 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’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 and it is safe to do so, check whether it’s a female and whether there’s a joey or joeys 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. Watch out for other traffic which might not expect to see you on the road or roadside. Do not do so if it’s unsafe.

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

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This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.