They hop, you stop

COLLISIONS with animals across the Clarence Valley last year claimed more than 176 vehicles, with motorists being warned to be aware of the danger now spring has sprung.

According to NRMA Insurance data, Grafton with 66 and South Grafton with 14 claims topped the Clarence last year.

At least 75% of these collisions were with kangaroos.

Ali from Raven Smash at South Grafton said they saw the number of animal-related crashes rise in spring, especially with kangaroos.

"When it gets warmer and the bush dries out, the animals seem to come out," she said.

Yamba Smash and Towing owner Nick Fuller said they got a consistent number of kangaroo-damaged cars throughout the year.

"We do one or maybe two a week all year round, and they are always kangaroos," he said.

Data released in July by NRMA Insurance showed NSW had the highest rate of collisions compared to the other states, with more than 7000 claims.

NRMA Insurance head of research Robert McDonald said kangaroos continued 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," he said

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

"If you see a kangaroo on or near the road, you should try and brake, but not swerve to avoid a collision."

Mr McDonald also warned motorists to slow down in areas posted with wildlife signs.

"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."

WIRES general manager Leanne Taylor said if you hit a kangaroo and it is critically injured, please call WIRES or police.

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