The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is asking motorists to take care on the roads over the summer holidays to protect native species as well as human lives.
Each year in Australia, thousands of collisions occur between motor vehicles and animals, resulting in considerable vehicle repair costs, injury to people and loss of animal life.
“It’s really important for drivers to reduce their speed, not only for their own safety, but also to help ensure the survival of our native species,” said Dr Robert Johnson, President of the AVA.
Studies have shown that night-time travel can be a significant risk factor when comparing animal-related crashes to other serious injury crashes. Motorcyclists are more likely than other vehicle occupants to be involved in animal-related serious crashes, particularly on rural and remote roads.
“Research has shown that drivers can significantly reduce the likelihood of animal-vehicle crashes by reducing their speed and remaining alert while driving through areas where animals are more abundant.
“If you find an injured animal you can help by calling the local wildlife rescue group. Small injured animals can be taken to the nearest vet hospital,” Dr Johnson said.
Three easy things you can do to help prevent wildlife injuries occurring over the Christmas holidays:
- Don’t litter – as this attracts wildlife to the roadside to scavenge, where they’re more likely to be hit by passing vehicles.
- Slow down at night – most animal strikes occur at night when nocturnal animals are active and more difficult to avoid.
Take note of road signs – these will often highlight areas where wildlife collisions have happened in the past.