Lookout for livestock


A new campaign aims to protect drivers from collisions with stock on roads. 

Cows walking across the road.

Half a second is all it took before RACQ member David Brand hit a cow while travelling 100km/h between Nebo and Mackay. 

The crash occurred on 8 December, when David, his partner and two sons were driving on the Peak Downs Highway in their Toyota Prado. 

“We had to dim our lights because of oncoming traffic and the next second we realised that there was a cow’s face in front of us,” Mr Brand said. 

“I realised there was nothing I could do but brace for impact and my partner started to scream but there wasn’t even enough time for her to let out a proper scream.”

When Mr Brand hit the cow all of the airbags deployed, the cow went under the vehicle on the passenger side and the car’s bonnet was crushed inwards.

“The scariest part was when the airbags started to deflate the vehicle was still moving at a decent pace and we were heading straight for an oncoming truck,” Mr Brand said.

“For some reason, I couldn’t turn the wheel left. 

“I gave it one more yank and was able to get the nose of the car into the left-hand side just in time and that’s when the vehicle came to a stop.”

Toyota Prado after accident

Mr Brand and his family were taken to Mackay Hospital but were lucky enough to walk away from the accident with minor injuries.

Senior Constable Andrew Perrett from the Nebo Police Station, who assisted the family, is working with the Queensland Road Accident Action Group (RAAG) and Allflex Australia to make cattle management ear tags reflective to give motorists more time to react when seeing livestock on the road. 

He hopes to expand the trial to regions beyond Nebo by promoting the Stock on Roads campaign to alert and educate drivers.

“Incidents are quite consistent throughout the state and when they do happen, it can be tragic,” Senior Constable Perrett said. 

“A lot of the time, these accidents happen at night because by the time the driver sees the animal, it’s too late and they are already travelling at 100 km/h. 

“If we can make all cattle management tags reflective, it would give drivers an opportunity to see the animals on the road and provide more time to stop or take some sort of action to avoid hitting the animal."

Between December 2018 and December 2021, RACQ received 12,052 claims related to collisions with animals.

RACQ Comprehensive Car Insurance will cover damage to your car in a collision with livestock or wildlife however an excess may apply. 


What to do if you see livestock on the road

  • Slow down and stop your vehicle, if it is safe to do so.
  • If it’s an emergency, call 000. Apps such as Emergency Plus can give you exact GPS coordinates. 
  • Contact Queensland Road Condition Information on 13 1940 to report it.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.