Car accidents are one of the most common causes of death for many native wildlife species. While many car accidents with animals go unreported, AAMI predicted that over 9,620 animal collisions occurred in 2018-2019 alone, with over 90% of accidents involving kangaroos.
Although animals suffer from traffic collisions year around, this peaks especially in late-autumn and winter periods (May to October). FOUR PAWS advises particular caution around this time and throughout the year to avoid any potential accidents.
This is how you can reduce the risk of accidents:
- Many animals prefer to be on the move at night or at dusk. Be especially careful at these times of the day.
- Poor visibility in autumn increases the risk of accidents. Adjust your speed to the visibility conditions.
- Drivers should take the danger sign 'Wildlife Crossing' seriously, reduce their speed and keep an eye on the edge of the road.
- As soon as an animal comes into view, drivers should switch to dipped headlights so that the animals are not blinded.
- Many animals are travelling in groups: If one kangaroo appears, you should expect more roos. Therefore, do not accelerate again immediately after an animal has crossed the road.
- Do not swerve or take any risky evasive manoeuvres. Slow down and brake to avoid endangering other road users.
- Take extra care driving in regional areas.
What to do in the event of a wildlife accident:
- If you're involved in an accident with an animal, stop and secure the site.
- If it's safe to do so, check the animal's well-being. If the animal is alive and injured, call RSPCA, WIRES or your local wildlife rescue service. Find out more about what to do when you see an injured wildlife here.
- It is strongly advised not to rescue the animal on your own, unless otherwise advised by the wildlife rescue service or the vet.