Animal rescue callouts and car insurance claims for kangaroo crashes have both risen at an alarming rate in the last two months, prompting an RAA warning for drivers.
RAA Insurance data shows animal collision claims rose by 32 per cent in September and October when compared with the monthly average for the past year, in what has been the worst two months for kangaroo collision claims since early 2021.
In the same period, Fauna Rescue South Australia received more than 600 calls for assistance of kangaroos (not all of which are motor vehicle collisions) – a huge spike of 136 per cent on their monthly average.
While kangaroos can be more active in spring due to young males being pushed out of their mobs, this is still a 42 per cent increase on the same months in 2022, according to Fauna Rescue SA’s call-out data.
RAA Insurance Head of Claims Nicole Cox said the jump in kangaroo activity was another reason drivers needed to remain fully focused on the road.
“Kangaroo activity and car collisions in South Australia have seen a huge spike so far this spring, so we’re urging drivers to be extra cautious and alert, especially on regional roads,” Ms Cox said.
“Hitting a kangaroo on the road can be a traumatic experience and have devastating consequences for the animal, you as the driver or your passengers. It can also do significant damage to your vehicle.
“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.”
“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 and sound their horn to scare the animal away from the road.”
Fauna Rescue SA’s Sue Gredley urged people to familiarise themselves with what to do if they hit a kangaroo while driving.
“A lot of people don’t know what to do if they hit a kangaroo. If you do have a crash, please check if the animal is alive before calling Fauna Rescue SA on 08 8289 0896,” Ms Gredley said.
“We respond to kangaroo callouts 24/7.”