OFF ROAD: Wildlife, especially kangaroos, searching for food at the side of roads is causing a spike in crashes.
OFF ROAD: Wildlife, especially kangaroos, searching for food at the side of roads is causing a spike in crashes. Mike Richards GLA170217ROOS

Kangaroos hopping onto roads causing spike in crashes

THEY move quickly, have no regard for road rules and don't pay insurance premiums.

Skippy and his mates are causing headaches on our roads and following a spike in crashes with kangaroos, NSW Ambulance is advising road users to be aware of wildlife while on our roads.

In the past three months paramedics have attended 38 collisions involving kangaroos, three for wombats and two for possums.

NSW Ambulance Inspector Rhys Dive said dry weather and soaring temperatures was forcing wildlife to road sides, looking for plant growth. Over the past two years paramedics have attended 224 incidents involving wildlife. It's estimated that one in seven crashes on country roads involves animals.

Insp Dive said avoiding animals on roads and bush tracks involves a degree of luck, however there are ways to minimise the risk.

"Animals often move quickly and are unpredictable so it's hard to know what to do next when confronted." Insp Dive said.

He said incidents included vehicles losing control and either rolling or colliding with trees and other obstacles, and sudden braking that results in collisions with other vehicles, including rear-enders.

Staying alert and slowing down, especially at sunrise and sunset when visibility is decreased and animals tend to be more active is also advised.

"Quite a few of the incidents which have occurred in the past few months have involved motorists travelling in excess of 100km/h and the sudden impact has caused the vehicles to roll or veer into trees and down embankments," he said.

Road users should also prepare if they see any sudden movement from the edges of the road and be patient if a vehicle ahead suddenly slows down or stops. Insp Dive added kangaroos travel in mobs so a kangaroo sighting, including deceased kangaroos on the road, is a sign there are others nearby.

The NSW Centre for Road Safety further advises people to reduce speed when they see animal warning signs; only brake when it is safe to do so; and never swerve - it is safer to hit an animal than swerve and lose control of your vehicle.

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