12 May 2018

Canberra named animal collision capital for second year in a row

| Glynis Quinlan
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The main animals that drivers collide with on ACT roads. A still from a video which was supplied.

For the second year running, Canberra has been named the animal collision capital of Australia – recording more collisions between motorists and animals than any other Australian capital city.

According to the latest data from car insurer AAMI, almost one in 10 motor accidents in Canberra are caused by collisions with animals.

Goulburn is the nation’s second-highest animal collision hotspot, followed by Sunbury in Victoria and then Cooma and Dubbo in NSW.

Canberra’s CBD is the top animal collision hotspot in the ACT, followed by Hume, Kambah, Belconnen and Tharwa.

Perhaps not surprisingly, kangaroos were involved in the vast majority of collisions – 92 per cent.

Wombats were involved in two per cent of collisions, dogs in one per cent of collisions and the remaining five per cent of collisions involve other animals such as deer, foxes, wallabies and horses.

The data is based on an analysis by AAMI of 9,000 accident insurance claims across Australia over the past 12 months, with research showing there is a peak in animal collisions as winter sets in.

AAMI spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson said that it’s important for drivers to be extra vigilant at this time of year.

“As the days shorten, motorists are sharing the road with animals for longer periods of time as they are most active during dawn or dusk,” Ms Paterson said.

“Wildlife is unpredictable, so we encourage drivers to always expect the unexpected on the road, particularly in signposted wildlife areas.

“Simple things like being aware of your surroundings, driving to the speed limits, and being extra vigilant at dawn and dusk can help keep you and our wildlife safe.”

ACT Wildlife vice-president Martin Lind said that the AAMI data is really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of animal carnage in the ACT, with the figures not including incidents where no damage is done to cars.

“There’s a whole flurry of animals that bounce off cars that don’t ever get reported in the ACT,” Mr Lind said.

He said that motorists “just mow down” cockatoos and galahs, with other animals or birds which are often killed or injured on ACT roads including turtles, magpies, lizards, possums and red-necked wallabies.

“There is a cavalier attitude to anything that gets on our roads in the ACT.

“I’ve witnessed drivers not even slowing down or stopping.”

Mr Lind advised drivers to follow the three rules of “brain on, eyes open, slow down”.

ACT Wildlife president Marg Peachey advised drivers to keep a spare blanket or box in the car in case they encounter an orphaned joey or injured bird.

“Keeping an animal warm, but not hot, can reduce stress and shock to the animal,” Ms Peachy said.

“If possible take the animal to a wildlife carer, but in all cases, if you are unsure of what to do, give us a call for advice.”

You can contact ACT Wildlife on 0432 300 033 or click here to go to the website.

Do you think motorists take enough care on Canberra’s roads? Are you concerned that some motorists are driving over animals without stopping? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Below is a video about animal collisions in Canberra produced by AAMI.

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