Beware of hopping hazards on NSW roads

Central west drivers are being encouraged to watch out for kangaroos on the road with recently released figures from NRMA insurance stating the marsupials accounted for 75 percent of all animal related collisions last year.

The insurer said data also showed NSW had the highest rate of collisions compared to the other states with over 7,000 claims.

NRMA Insurance Head of Research, Robert McDonald, said kangaroos continue to pose a serious hazard on country roads.

“Kangaroos are often looking for food at sunrise and sunset and it’s during this time that an increased number of collisions occur.

“We have seen a reduction in animal related collision claims this year, which may be due to many of the regions moving out of drought conditions, which means animals tend to be less active near busy roads or highways, hunting for food.

“We want to urge all drivers to be aware when at the wheel.

“How you react when you see a kangaroo on the road can potentially save lives.

“Drivers should also be mindful when dogs and cats are near the road with data showing that dogs are the second most likely animal to be involved in a collision.

The Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) said kangaroos are an iconic feature of the Australian countryside.

WIRES General Manager, Leanne Taylor, said certain areas have seen the numbers of particular species of kangaroos dwindle with traffic accidents significantly contributing to the decline.

“If you hit a kangaroo and it is critically injured, please call WIRES or your local wildlife group or call the police,” Ms Taylor said.

NRMA Insurance offers some advice for NSW drivers: If you see a kangaroo on or near the road, you should try and brake, but not swerve to avoid a collision; reduce your speed inside sign posted wildlife areas; if you hit the animal and safety permits, you should try to help by moving it to the side of the road to prevent further crashes; don’t force the animal to eat or drink and contact a local veterinarian or a wildlife rescue centre such as WIRES.

Animal collision hotspots in the Central West area include: Dubbo with 101, Parkes with 42, Orange with 39, Forbes with 31 and Condobolin with 30.

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