How can I avoid animals on the road?

Published 30 Oct 2017

Author: Nassir Bechara

Canberra has the dubious honour of being the Australian city where the most collisions occur between vehicles and animals. It is the second year in a row that the ACT capital topped the rankings, according to insurer AMMI.

The firm analysed 40,000 claims across 2015 and 2016, with kangaroos found to be the most hazardous animal to encounter on the road. Wallabies, wombats and dogs were also commonly involved in crashes.

Here are some AMMI tips on how to avoid animal collisions:

1. Stay extra vigilant at dawn and dusk

These are the times that wildlife are most active, so be on the lookout. The data shows that Friday is the most dangerous day of the week for accidents involving animals, with 6-7am and 5-7pm being particularly hazardous.

2. Beware kangaroos

Nearly 90 per cent of crashes are due to kangaroos. They travel in packs, so if you see one crossing a road, you can expect more to follow. In the event you collide with a kangaroo, you should check whether it’s a female and has a joey in its pouch that may need rescuing.

3. Watch out for dead animals

Dead animals on the road may suggest there is lots of wildlife in the area. You should slow your vehicle and pay more attention to your peripheral vision, particularly in forest and grassland areas where animals are more likely to reside.

4. Try to avoid swerving

You should make every effort to slow down and brake if you encounter an animal on the road while driving, but don’t swerve your vehicle to avoid a crash. Evasive manoeuvres could put yourself and other road users at risk, as you may miss the animal but hit other vehicles or pedestrians.

5. Be wary of winter weather

AMMI noted that collisions peak in the winter, increasing 68 per cent nationwide as the colder weather sets in. As Australia settles into spring, drivers may feel the worst is over, but vehicle owners should always be careful on the country’s roads, whatever the conditions.

Can I make a claim for car accident injuries?

Car accident compensation may be available for people involved in crashes caused by wildlife, but a payout is likely to be dependent on the situation and what actions the driver took to avoid the incident.

If you’d like to discuss compensation for injuries you’ve sustained as a result of an animal-related accident, please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for more help.