AAMI reveals 46 roo crash claims from Lismore

THERE are certain places you want to see kangaroos: open paddocks, opposite the Queen on a $1 coin and in black-and-white Skippy TV marathons.

But throw a windshield in the mix at high speed and those iconic marsupials become decidedly unwelcome.

Insurer AAMI has revealed it handled 46 kangaroo crash claims from the Lismore region in 2014, with the city's 2480 postcode notching up 19 collisions.

Casino's postcode 2470 and Kyogle (2474) were next in line with nine claims apiece, followed by Ballina (2478) with five crashes and four from Byron (2481).

AAMI assessed 19,000 animal crash claims nationally in 2014.

"Wildlife is unpredictable and often drivers won't get any warning before an animal appears in front of them," AAMI spokesman Reuben Aitchison said.

"When driving on country roads, be aware of your environment and slow down to give yourself more time to react if you see an animal crossing or standing on the road ahead."

NRMA Insurance researchers have found kangaroos and wallabies make up more than 80% of animal collisions on New South Wales roads, with the number of smashes increasing during the winter.

The insurer's records revealed it fielded more than 10,200 claims for animal crashes in NSW last year, although a University of New South Wales study into crashes between 1996 and 2005 found the vast majority of crashes go unreported.

"Often, drivers swerve to miss animals only to hit roadside obstacles, such as trees and poles or oncoming vehicles," it found.

- APN Newsdesk

KANGA CRASHES

AAMI's roo crash claims for 2014

  • Lismore (2480) - 19
  • Casino (2470) - 9
  • Kyogle (2474) - 9
  • Ballina (2478) - 5
  • Byron (2481) - 4
  • TOTAL - 46

AVOID WRECK AND ROO-IN

AAMI's top tips for keeping clear of Skippy

  • If you notice road kill, slow down and pay extra attention because this is often a sign of wildlife in the area.
  • If you see an animal on the road, slow down and brake but avoid swerving. It is far less dangerous to keep driving and damage your vehicle than swerve to avoid it and collide with another vehicle or tree.
  • Be extra vigilant when driving at dawn, dusk or night because this is when animals are most active.
  • If you have a crash or near-miss with an animal, flash your headlights to warn other drivers that there is danger ahead.
  • Keep your local wildlife rescue service emergency number on hand in case an animal is injured.

DRIVING DISTRACTED

A Monash University study of 340 serious crashes in NSW and Victoria between 2000 and 2011 found driver distraction was at fault in 57% of cases.

The biggest contributors were:

  • Intoxication - 13.5%
  • Falling asleep - 11.8%
  • Fatigue - 10.9%
  • Failure to look - 3.2%
  • Passenger interaction - 3.2%
  • Feeling ill - 2.6%
  • Blacking out - 2.6%
  • Feeling stressed - 1.8%
  • Looking but failing to see - 1.5%
  • Animal or insect in vehicle - 1.4%
  • Using a mobile phone - 0.9%
  • Changing music - 0.9%
  • Adjusting vehicle systems - 0.9%
  • Looking at vehicle systems - 0.9%
  • Searching for an object - 0.9%


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