Qlders warned to slow down as animal strike season starts

With some COVID-19 restrictions to ease, RACQ has warned Queenslanders planning a scenic drive this weekend, to be on the lookout for animals as the peak season for collisions began.

Club spokesperson Lucinda Ross said the insurer’s data revealed May was the start of animal strike season, as cooler temperatures set in and wildlife sought out food and warmth on rural roads.

“Over the last three years, we’ve seen more than 1,100 insurance claims come in for animal strikes in May alone,” Ms Ross said. 

“While it’s great Queenslanders can get back out on the roads to enjoy a scenic drive within 50 kilometres of their home, it’s important drivers take caution on rural roads where wildlife might be trying to cross or look for food.

“Striking an animal at speed can cause huge damage to your vehicle and not only harm the animal, but potentially put you and your passengers at risk.”

Ms Ross said drivers could take several precautions if they were travelling on roads where wildlife could be present. 

“If you’re driving at dawn or dusk, you’re more likely to see wildlife because this is when they’re coming in to feed on the side of the road where the grass is often greener,” she said.

“If you can’t avoid driving at these times, make sure you always stick to the speed limit and stay aware of any wildlife which might be on the verge of coming onto the road.

“Never swerve to avoid hitting an animal. It can put you at greater risk of causing a collision with another vehicle or obstacle. If it’s safe, try and brake, and pull over and call for help if your car is damaged.”