Canberrans are being urged to remain vigilant on the roads this Easter with autumn bringing a 32 per cent spike in kangaroo collisions. Kangaroo collision hotspots often occur in regional holiday destinations and routes where there are higher ‘roo populations and faster speed zones. Canberra, Hume and Fyshwick are all identified as hotspots in the ACT.
A motor vehicle collision with a kangaroo can leave motorists more than seeing red, with the average cost of damages being $5000.
The new data, compiled by insurance company QBE, also revealed kangaroo crashes account for 80 per cent of collision claims involving an animal.
QBE’s Eleanor Debelle said the spike during autumn coincides with school holidays and daylight saving.
“With less light on the road and kangaroos typically being most active at dusk and dawn, it can be a recipe for disaster,” she said.
Kangaroo encounters are also more likely following extended periods of dry weather or after wet weather.
The ACT Government has recommended drivers consider autonomous emergency braking and lane support systems when purchasing their next car to ensure they are safer on the roads.
Auto braking systems use cameras and sensors on the car to apply the breaks in an emergency to avoid a collision.
It can reduce the risk of rear-end crashes by almost 60 per cent, while lane support systems – which recognise lane markings and actively steer to keep the car from unintentionally swerving – can reduce head-on and single-vehicle crashes by 30 per cent.
Drivers are being asked to drop their speed and stay alert in unfamiliar areas, or areas with a high presence of wildlife.
If you come across a kangaroo, QBE recommends braking to avoid a collision instead of swerving.