Published: May 19, 2015 – 11:30PM
Canberra’s central suburbs are the most dangerous for kangaroos crashes and drivers are more likely to hit an animal in Queanbeyan than anywhere else in Australia.
There were 700 claims made last year for animal crashes in the ACT last year and the vast majority involved kangaroos, fresh data from insurer AAMI has revealed.
The 2600 postcode, which takes in Yarralumla, Barton, Deakin, Russell and Capital Hill, experienced the highest number of animal collisions in the ACT with 96 crashes.
That was followed by the ACT parts of the Queanbeyan postcode, 2620, with 42 crashes in the territory suburbs of Tharwa, Oaks Estate and Hume. Weston Creek and Calwell also recorded 42 crashes each.
The Symonston postcode of 2609, which also covers Fyshwick, Pialligo and Majura, rounded out the top five with 37 crashes.
Nationally, the Queanbeyan postcode of 2620, which covers parts of NSW and the ACT, was the most dangerous spot in Australia for animal crashes, with 276 claims for collisions in 2014.
That was more crashes than any other part of Australia and was followed by Goulburn with 173 collisions.
The NSW town of Singleton had 152 collisions, while the Queensland area of Dingo recorded 150 and Charters Towers had 140 crashes.
The insurer’s analysis of almost 19,000 animal collisions showed there was a 30 per cent jump in claims during winter.
AAMI spokesman Reuben Aitchison said the volume of claims for animal collisions began to increase in May and peaked between June and August, which was the most dangerous time of year.
“Wildlife doesn’t take time to follow the road rules, kangaroos will leap out in front of you with no warning, so we have to do a bit of thinking for them.
“With the number of collisions in the Canberra area, it certainly does pay to take it a bit slower.”
Mr Aitchison said a collision with animals such as kangaroos, wombats and wallabies was traumatic for animals and drivers, often caused considerable damage to vehicles and could result in serious injuries or fatalities.
“We’re getting to the point where we’re on the roads commuting either in the morning when we’re tired or in the evening when we’ve had a long day at work and just want to get home.
“With winter coming it’s more likely to be dark around those times and that’s also when animals tend to come out.
“The bad weather can also contribute to more crashes this time of year.”
Mr Aitchison said swerving to avoid an animal could result in a driver running off the road or crashing into oncoming traffic, and slowing down and hitting the animal might be the safest option in some cases.
“If you’re heading to one of these top areas it’s always good to think ahead of time what you would do.”
Other tips for drivers included slowing down in an area where there was a lot of road kill, being extra vigilant at dawn and dusk when animals were often more active, and flashing lights at other drivers if they noticed animals near roads.
Motorists were also advised to keep the local wildlife emergency rescue service number in their mobile phones in case they hit and injured an animal.
Most dangerous ACT spots for animal collisions in 2014
1. Canberra (2600): 96
2. Queanbeyan (2620): 42
3. Weston Creek (2611): 42
4. Calwell (2905): 42
5. Symonston (2609): 37
6. Aranda (2614): 36
7. Woden (2606): 31
8. Watson (2602): 25
9. Gordon (2906): 25
10. Kambah (2902): 21
This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/queanbeyan-and-canberra-most-dangerous-spots-for-animal-road-crashes-20150519-gh4ze8.html
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