Regional fleets warned about animal collisions

During the next couple of months, rural and regional fleets are urged to be aware of wild animals and livestock crossing roads.

This reminder comes from the Royal Automobile Association (RAA), and suggests that these occurrences are more common during July and during winter in general. According to the RAA, there have been close to 1,800 incidents of animal strike on South Australian roads in the last five years.

While just 2 per cent of total vehicle accidents were actually caused by animals, they have resulted in three deaths and 41 cases of serious injury.

As there is less daylight hours during winter, it is harder to see animals on the side of the road and this makes it difficult to react, if they suddenly bound into the path of oncoming fleet drivers. Animals are more active during dawn and dusk so these are time periods that drivers need to alert and focussed on the road.

RAA Senior Manager Road Safety, Charles Mountain said colliding with a Kangaroo, for example, will be much more severe than hitting a regular domestic animal such as a cat or dog and offered advice to motorists.

"When driving in rural areas, although it is not uncommon to encounter wandering native animals and livestock, motorists are generally not expecting to turn a corner and be faced with this situation," Mr Mountain said.

"Where possible, drivers should safely reduce their speed to avoid a collision and never swerve to avoid an animal as this increases the chances of becoming involved in a more serious crash."

As safety is an important consideration for any fleet manager, unexpected occurrences such as animal strike must be addressed. For comprehensive roadside assistance, invest in fleet management software as help is available 24/7.

If the vehicle is significantly damaged, then the service can extend to advice and support to prepare insurance documents for a claim.