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Animal collisions on the rise in winter months


AAMI reveals Swansea as Tassie's animal collision hotspot

Motor insurer AAMI is warning drivers to be wary of wayward wildlife, with animal collisions on Australian roads increasing by 30% in the winter months, according to new claims data.

Analysis of almost 19,000 animal collision claims reported in 2014 shows that claims start to rise in May with the peak danger period between June and August.

AAMI spokesperson, Reuben Aitchison warns Tassie drivers to be on the lookout for wildlife, particularly on early morning and evening commutes.

“Winter is coming, and drivers are more likely to be on the road at dawn and dusk, which is primarily when animals are on the move. Colliding with a large kangaroo, wombat or wallaby is not only traumatic for both the animal and driver but often causes considerable damage to cars and can also result in serious injury and death,” he said.

After examining AAMI’s 860 animal related crash claims in Tasmania in 2014, the most dangerous areas are:

TAS

National

1. Swansea (7190)

1. Queanbeyan (2620 NSW/ACT)

2. Bothwell (7030)

2. Goulburn (2580 NSW)

3. Grove (7109)

3. Singleton (2330 NSW)

4. Launceston (7250)

4. Dingo (4702 QLD)

5. Deloraine (7304)

5. Charters Towers (4820 QLD)

“As the start of winter is when animal collisions start to spike, it’s vital that drivers are alert behind the wheel and know what to do if they collide with nature."

“Wildlife is unpredictable and often drivers won’t get any warning before an animal appears in front of them. When driving on country roads, be aware of your environment and slow down to give yourself more time to react if you see an animal crossing or standing on the road ahead.” Mr Aitchison said.

AAMI’s Top Tips:

  • If you notice road kill, slow down and pay extra attention as this is often a sign of wildlife in the area.
  • 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.
  • Be extra vigilant when driving at dawn, dusk or night-time as this is primarily when animals are most active.
  • If you have a crash or near-miss collision with an animal, flash your headlights to warn other drivers that there is danger ahead.
  • Keep your local wildlife rescue service emergency number on hand in case an animal is injured.  They will be able to arrange for someone to come and take care of the injured animal.
  • If you regularly drive through rural areas where there is known wildlife, consider investing in an animal alert device, which emits high frequency ultrasonic sounds to deter animals, particularly roos and wallabies, from coming near your car.  
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