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How to avoid wildlife collisions on the highway

Unless you’ve only just moved to Australia, or live in an urban center, it’s more than likely you’ve encountered a kangaroo on, or near, the road.

It’s an undeniable part of being a driver in Australia and chances are if you drive outside of urban center and/or at night it’s likely happen to you at least once in your life.

As a professional driver it’s important to know the correct way to handle an encounter with a roo on the road. We’ve put together some tips which could make all the difference next time you’re on the road.

  • Don’t swerve

Many people think this will avoid a crash, but often the driver swerves too hard and either veers off the road or heads into oncoming traffic. It’s more dangerous, given the size and maneuverability of a truck, and could lead to more damage and injury.

  • Brake in a straight line

The only thing worse than swerving is swerving with locked-up tyres. Hit the brakes in a straight line. This will allow you to slow down quickly and safely. If the animal still hasn’t moved and you’ve reached a safe speed, you can now steer around it.

  • Use your horn

This is your last resort. If you’ve reached a safe speed, and the roo still hasn’t moved, use your horn to scare the animal off and clear the path. Don’t attempt to do this if a crash is imminent, as a deploying airbag could injure you if your arm is in the way.

However, even with these tips sometimes accidents are unavoidable. If you happen to hit the kangaroo, here are some things you should do:

  1. Safely stop your truck, pull over to the side, and make sure to turn your hazard lights on. Before you get out of the cab to assess the situation make sure you’re exiting the truck safely. If you’re on a busy highway try to exit from the passenger door if possible, and put out warning triangles once you are out of your vehicle.
  2. Check your lights, if panels are pushed against tyres, look for water leaks or any other damage. Don’t drive off and pretend nothing happened; your vehicle may be damaged and the dead kangaroo on the road is a safety hazard for other drivers.
  3. Check that you and any passengers are safe. It’s good to keep a first aid kit in your truck if you are driving around in remote and regional areas, just in case you or another gets injured from the sudden braking.
  4. Call a local wildlife organisation if the kangaroo (or any other animal) is injured. Remember, kangaroos have powerful legs and sharp claws, even if it is injured roos can still be dangerous so be careful if approaching the animal. If the kangaroo is dead, ensure that you move it off the road and be sure to check if there are any joeys in the pouch. If there are, let wildlife authorities know immediately to save the joey’s life. Ensure that you clean your hands if you’ve touched the animal. Don’t know where to call? Wildlife Rescue is a national injured wildlife hotline, contact them on 1300 596 457.

If you’ve hit a roo and damaged your truck, you can rely on our claims services and repair network. Just pick up the phone, and one of our award-winning claims experts will help you immediately.

Truck Assist offer a well thought out solution for small businesses who are seeking to protect their company truck. Get a quote for Drive Pack Insurance online to see how we can keep you on the road.