Animal car collisions increased by 48% in March 2023 compared to February, according to RAA Insurance claims data.
Autumn is generally the worst season for animal collisions, with a 22% increase in “hit animal” claims compared to summer months, according to the data dating back to 2020, and the majority of animals hit in South Australia are kangaroos at 87%.
Regional roads and highways, such as the Stuart Highway, Princes Highway, Sturt Highway, Victor Harbor Road and South Eastern Freeway were generally hotspots for animal collisions.
RAA Insurance spokesperson, Kimberley Bolton, urged drivers to be vigilant and alert as animals can jump out onto the road with little to no warning, especially during dawn and dusk hours.
“Hitting an animal on the road can be a traumatic experience and cause serious damage to your vehicle,” Ms Bolton said.
“Depending on the animal and speed involved, the damage to your vehicle could range from a few thousand dollars to the car being a complete write-off.”
Liane Lawrence from Kangaroo Rescue South Australia at Uleybury said the organisation attends multiple rescues per week.
“At this time of year roadside vegetation is getting greener, bringing more animals towards the roads in search of food,” Ms Lawrence said.
She has also warned drivers against swerving if an animal appeared on the road in front of them.
“While colliding with an animal is a regrettable and unnerving experience, we advise motorists not to brake too heavily or swerve as this could result in a more serious crash.
“Where possible, drivers should safely reduce their speed to avoid a collision with an animal.”
Stock photo of kangaroo safety sign on road above from pickpik.com, supplied