Year in, year out – thousands of collisions between animals and motor vehicles occur on Australian roads. Although most of the animals hit are kangaroos and wallabies, farm animals including horses, cattle, sheep and goats can pose serious risks to drivers.
Adding a bullbar or nudge bar to a vehicle will not prevent an accident, but many less serious collisions may render a vehicle unable to be driven without one. The added safety of frontal protection can make all the difference between being able to drive to safety or repair, or being stranded in a remote location with a damaged vehicle. From Mums driving the kids to school, or for the safety of teenagers driving to and from work or school in regional and many urban locations across Australia, many hazards are able to be mitigated with the right frontal protection.
NSW Roads and Maritime Services claim that 20% of collisions on rural roads involve an animal, while they account for more than 6% of accidents Australia wide. It is estimated that very few are actually reported, so the actual figure is likely to be much higher.
Almost half of collisions with animals result in serious injury or fatality.
While many highways and roads in rural Australia remain un-fenced, the risk of accident is increased by wild and farm animals wandering. Animals are often drawn to the roadside to feed on the lush vegetation that results from water runoff from the road surface. Our native kangaroos, wallabies, possums, birds and reptiles are most likely to be hit and scavengers, such as eagles and other birdlife, may feed on the carcasses of wildlife killed on the road, therefore also putting themselves at risk of injury or death from vehicles not to mention the risk to the vehicle and it’s occupants.
Many fatal collisions could be avoided by reacting to the situation responsibly. Swerving and sudden braking are common responses to unexpected wildlife on the road. Emus, goats, kangaroos, cattle, deer and horses can cause collisions that are fatal to people inside the vehicle. A high speed collision with an animal may cause the loss of control of your vehicle, major vehicle damage, serious personal injury or even death to passengers, as well as the animal.
There is a higher risk of contact with an animal at dawn and dusk, when visibility on the road is decreased and when animals tend to be more active.
There are steps you can take to help avoid hitting an animal on the road or ensuring the risks and eventual outcome is minimal:
- Pay attention to warning signs, slow down and be aware of any sudden movement along the edges of the road.
- Be especially alert at dusk and dawn.
- If you see an animal on or near the roadside, slow down. Animals may be unpredictable or panic when they see or hear a vehicle.
- Animals often gather and travel in groups. If you see one by the road, there will probably be others, slow down and be alert.
- If a vehicle ahead of you suddenly slows down or stops, it may well be due to an animal crossing, slow down and prepare to stop until the road is clear.
- Consider adding frontal protection to your vehicle, though it may not avoid an accident it will assist in minimising risk of injury or immobilisation of the vehicle in the event of a collision.
East Coast Bullbars are making the largest range of bullbars and nudge bars for most current model SUV and 4WD vehicles. Continuing to produce the world’s best range frontal protection products, ECB’s Big Tube® Bullbars new and improved designs are constantly being tweaked and redeveloped by the Research and Development department at their Brisbane headquarters. Their products offer uncompromised safety and the strongest and best fitment possible, while still aesthetically enhancing the vehicle.
Visit East Coast Bullbars website to find a bar to suit your vehicle at www.ecb.com.au and don’t settle for second best when safety is of vital importance.
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