Colliding with an animal as large as a kangaroo can not only damage a vehicle but can also cause serious injury to motorists and passengers. In 2019, 21% of collisions on Victorian roads involving kangaroos resulted in serious injury to occupants.
At this time of year, motorists need to be on the alert for kangaroos, especially at dusk and dawn. Kangaroos can be quite unpredictable, and headlights can ‘blind’ animals, confusing them and initiating a reactive fight-or-flight response.
Swerving violently to avoid an animal on the roadway can result in a loss of vehicle control or serious collisions with oncoming traffic. Any actions taken to avoid hitting wildlife should be done safely, by steering straight and applying the brakes in a controlled manner. While it is sad, a collision with an animal is a preferable outcome to that of a collision that may result in injury or death to humans.
Chris Miller, Senior Media Spokesperson for the Department of Transport says drivers need to be aware of the danger.
“At this is the time of year we all need to be aware of kangaroos, with extra caution required when driving around dawn & dusk. Kangaroos are unpredictable and can cause serious injuries if struck. Slow down, particularly when you see the yellow animal warning signs on the roadside”.
Motorists who encounter injured wildlife should contact Wildlife Victoria on 8400 7300.
Our public transport system is also impacted by the increased activity of wildlife. The V/Line network had more than 750 animal strikes reported in the past year and the majority of the trains involved required a deep clean bio-wash. This process can lead to delays for passengers, trains running with fewer carriages than usual or services being replaced by coaches.