NRMA Insurance is warning motorists to take extra caution on the roads this long weekend as new data reveals NSW had the highest rate of animal collisions in the country with over 14,500 claims received last year, a 20 per cent increase from 2017.
The insurer’s claims data* showed that the winter season is the riskiest time for crashes involving animals, with almost 90 per cent of claims attributed to kangaroos.
NRMA Insurance Research Specialist Chris Emerson warned drivers travelling this long weekend to be mindful of wildlife on the roads.
“If you’re heading away this long weekend, or any time over winter, it’s really important that drivers are on the lookout for wildlife on the roads – particularly at dawn and dusk,” Mr Emerson said.
“If you spot an animal on the road while driving, remember to brake but don’t swerve as this may cause a collision with other cars. When driving in an area where animals could be present, take note of any signage about local wildlife and slow down.
“Wildlife can be unpredictable and often drivers won’t get prior warning before an animal appears in front of them. Colliding with wildlife is not only traumatic for both the animal and driver but can cause considerable damage to cars and also result in injury.”
Kangaroos are most likely to be involved in a road accident, followed by dogs, wombats, cattle and cats.
Animal collision hotspots in NSW
Number of animal collisions in 2018
NRMA Insurance offers safety advice for NSW drivers this long weekend:
- Be extra vigilant when driving at dawn, dusk or night-time as this is primarily when animals are most active.
- Reduce your speed inside sign posted wildlife areas;
- If you hit the animal and safety permits, you should try to help by moving it to the side of the road to prevent further crashes;
- Don’t force the animal to eat or drink and contact a local veterinarian or a wildlife rescue centre such as WIRES.
* Based on 2018 NRMA Comprehensive Car Insurance claims data