Motor Vehicle Accidents
What to do if you hit a kangaroo while driving
5% of road accidents involve collisions with animals, and a staggering 80% to 90% of those are with kangaroos. It’s a tragic and upsetting situation to suddenly find yourself in, but for those travelling on outback roads, it’s very common.
Review the information below so you know what to do should you ever hit a ‘roo.
What to do if you hit a kangaroo with your car
First of all, prioritise your own safety and get medical assistance if you or any of your passengers are hurt. If you’re all ok, do the following to help an injured kangaroo.
- Find somewhere safe to park and turn your hazard lights on. If stopping is not safe to do immediately, wait until it is.
- Assess from a distance. A hurt kangaroo can lash out if it feels threatened. Do not attempt to catch it. Keep any pets away to avoid stress to the kangaroo. Ensure you are not in danger of being hit by traffic.
- Contact the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) or the local wildlife rescue organisation and let them know the situation and the location. In addition to providing advice, they may send a trained volunteer to help you or, if it’s safe, recommend you transport the animal to the nearest vet (who won’t charge to treat native wildlife).
- If it’s safe, approach the animal calmly, cover it with a towel or blanket to keep it warm, and wait for wildlife experts to arrive.
What happens if the kangaroo hit by your car didn’t survive?
- Move it to the side of the road out of the way of other vehicles.
- See if it has a pouch. If it does, check inside for a joey. Because of the crash impact, check the surrounding area too.
- If you find a joey attached to its mother’s teat, do not remove it – ask WIRES for advice. Otherwise, remove it, wrap it in a blanket to keep it warm and ask WIRES where you can take it to be cared for.
Can you make a claim if you’re injured from a kangaroo collision?
If you or your passengers sustain injuries in an accidental collision with a kangaroo (or other wildlife), your mandatory Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance should cover your associated rehabilitation and medical expenses, though exclusions apply.
In 2019 alone, over 7,000 drivers made a CTP claim for injuries sustained from a kangaroo collision. To cover damage to your car, you will need to have comprehensive car insurance..
Hotspots for kangaroo collisions
Australia is home to over 50 million kangaroos — almost double the Australian population. Below are places to be extra-careful because car accidents with kangaroos are particularly common:
|State||Kangaroo Collision Hotspot|
|South Australia||Port Augusta, Cleve and Renmark|
|Queensland||Roma, Longreach, Goodiwini|
|Western Australia||Esperance, Busselton, Albany|
|Australian Capital Territory||Canberra, Hume, Fyshwick|
|New South Wales||Broken Hill, Deniliquin, Dubbo|
|Tasmania||Scottsdale, Devonport, Campbell Town|
|Northern Territory||Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin|
|Victoria||Heathcote, Dunkeld and Mildura|
How to avoid a collision with a kangaroo
Accidents happen with little to no warning. However, there are some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of a serious collision:
- Remain vigilant when travelling along regional roads known for their high kangaroo populations.
- Avoid swerving at high speeds to avoid a collision. Instead, slow down, brake safely and maintain as much control of your vehicle as possible.
- Do not use your high beam lights to scare a kangaroo off your path. The intense light will more than likely confuse them and make them freeze in front of you instead.
- Avoid driving at dusk and dawn as this is when kangaroos are most active.
Your responsibilities if you hit a kangaroo
If you accidentally hit an animal while driving, it is extremely unfortunate but almost certainly won’t get you into legal trouble. It can however be considered an offence to leave the accident scene without checking on the condition of an injured animal.
Drivers aren’t expected to give first aid, but they should call the relevant local wildlife rescue organisation and seek their advice on how to safely help or ease the pain of an injured animal. If a kangaroo sadly hasn’t survived, make conditions safe for other drivers by moving it to the side of the road.
Make a car crash claim today
While there may not be compensation possible with most incidents involving wildlife, LHD Lawyers are always ready to help everyday Australians receive the benefits they are entitled to for most car accident claims.