MOTORISTS are being reminded to stay alert when driving in rural areas, with casualty crashes involving animals peaking in June.
Between 2011 and 2015, 188 casualty crashes resulted from hitting animals on South Australian roads, with 12 per cent of these crashes, including one fatality, occurring in June.
RAA Road Safety senior manager Charles Mountain said almost two-thirds of these occurred in rural areas on roads with a speed limit of 100 km/h or more, and that it’s crucial country drivers remain vigilant.
The worst hour of the day for these types of crashes is between 6am and 7am, while kangaroos account for the majority (60 per cent) of animal collision insurance claims, followed by dogs, wombats, emus and cattle.
“Hitting an animal is an unpleasant experience, however we advise motorists not to brake heavily or swerve to avoid striking them,” Mr Mountain said.
“Doing so could cause you to lose control of your car or hit an oncoming vehicle, increasing your chances of being involved in a more serious crash.
“If you can’t avoid driving in rural areas at dusk and dawn, when animals are more active, reduce your speed, remain alert and remember that animals may be obscured by roadside vegetation.”
If an animal has been killed, remove it from the road safely to reduce potential dangers to other motorists and contact the Traffic Management Centre (1800 018 313), or the nearest police station, to arrange for the animal to be collected.