A cyclist collided with a kangaroo in Canberra and caught it all on video.
She was knocked to the ground when the kangaroo jumped at her from the roadside. She suffered some minor injuries and was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
“They don’t call Canberra the Bush Capital for nothing,” she said on her Youtube account.
The accident occurred on Adelaide Avenue near Capital Circle in Canberra, where the federal Parliament House is located. Considering the severity of the a collision with a kangaroo, the Canberra cyclist can consider herself lucky.
“I escaped relatively unscathed with no broken bones but a severely grazed and bruised elbow, grazed hip and 8 stitches in my knee,” she said.
The kangaroo on the other hand was not so well off.
“The ‘roo did hop away, it jumped over the railing on Adelaide Ave down to State Circle where it was subsequently hit by a car and killed.”
Sadly, these accidents are more common than you may think.
Cyclist/kangaroo accidents account for as much as 5.5% of all eligible on-road serious casualties in some states across Australia, according to aRoad crashes involving animals in Australia, Accident Analysis and Prevention report. In Tasmania, there are 32 animal collisions every hour.
Roads with collision hot spots are littered with warning signs for motorists, but often the roadkill is all the warning drivers need. Up to 86,000 native animals are killed each year on Australian roads.
According to the Territory and Municipal Services, “In Canberra, rangers commonly record more than 1,000 roadside kangaroo attendances per year, and estimate there are twice as many collisions as attendances.” A rate which it reports has been increasing significantly.
In a 2008 telephone survey, Territory and Municipal Services asked 600 Canberra drivers if they had ever hit a kangaroo. Almost 20% of respondents said yes. And according to NSW Roads and Maritime Services, one in five crashes on rural roads involve an animal.
They’re even dicing with death in our national day of motorsport, the Bathurst 1000.
It is for this reason that many vehicles in regional areas of Australia are fitted with bull bars and bonnet protectors to prevent severe damage, to the car and passengers during a collision.
There have been many instances when the larger species, such as the red kangaroo, which when mature can stand up to 1.6 metres and weigh as much as 90kg, have gone through the windscreen of car and killed the driver. Read about one of the more severe cases here.
Australian insurers often warn drivers of the hazards of wildlife on the roads periodically throughout the year, as well as providing their customers with steps you can take to help avoid hitting an animal on the road.
Here suggestions from Allianz.
- Pay attention to warning signs. Take heed by slowing down and be wary of any sudden movement from the edges of the road.
- Be especially watchful at dusk and dawn.
- Slow down if you see an animal on the road. Animal behaviour can be especially unpredictable when they are panicked by the sight and sound of a vehicle.
- Remember that animals often gather and travel in groups. If you see one by the road, slow down and be wary of other animals that may also be nearby.
- If a vehicle ahead of you has suddenly slowed or stopped, the driver may be waiting for an animal. Slow down and be prepared to stop until the hazard has cleared.
According to Road crashes involving animals in Australia, during 2002 the NRMA recorded approximately 11,000 claims nationally for animal-related crashes. In 2003, this figure increased 13% to 12,549 and again increased a further 41% in 2004 to 17,748 claims.
Techniques used overseas have been considered in Australia however most have been proven to be ineffective, such as fencing or underpasses which are expensive and often not suitable to the landscape where the collision hot spots occur. You can read more on the ACT Kangaroo Management Plan: Vehicle Collisions and Collision Avoidance Policies here.
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