RAA: Long weekend warning on 'roos

A surge in crashes between cars and kangaroos has prompted RAA to warn motorists to remain vigilant, as thousands of holidaymakers take to regional roads this long weekend.

The warning comes as insurance data from RAA shows record numbers of kangaroo crash claims lodged last financial year.

Figures show a 34 per cent rise in claims involving kangaroos, up from 1670 in 2018/19 compared to 1249 the previous financial year.

Kangaroos accounted for nearly 85 per cent of animal collision claims last financial year, with dogs making up nearly 6 per cent, followed by emus at 3 per cent and wombats with just 1 per cent.

RAA Insurance Claims Manager Hayley Cain warned that the greatest number of kangaroo crash claims occurred in springtime.

"The state's low rainfall has affected vegetation in rural areas," Ms Cain said.

"This is driving mobs of kangaroos into built-up areas, and contributing to the jump in collisions.

"Animals can definitely pose a serious risk to people's safety, which is why we urge drivers to be cautious.

"The financial cost of colliding with an animal could range from a few thousand dollars to the car being a write-off, depending on the animal and the speed involved.''

Ms Cain warned the Stuart Highway, Princes Highway, Sturt Highway, Victor Harbor Road, South Eastern Freeway and Main South Road were hotspots for crashes involving animals.

"Crashing into an animal is an unfortunate and unpleasant experience, but we advise motorists not to brake heavily or swerve as this risks being in a more serious crash," she said.

"Where possible, drivers should safely reduce their speed to avoid a collision with an animal, remain alert and remember that animals can be obscured by roadside vegetation.''

Ms Cain advised motorists to try to avoid driving at dusk and dawn in rural areas when animals are more active.

"If you do hit and injure an animal, we advise you to seek help," she said.

If the animal has been killed, and it is safe to do so, remove it from the road and contact the Traffic Management Centre on 1800 018 313, or the nearest police station.

This story Long weekend warning on 'roos first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.