What to do if you hit a kangaroo
Article by Matilda Douglas-Henry
Let’s say you’ve done everything you can to prevent hitting a kangaroo, but the worst has happened: you’ve made impact, and both your car and the animal aren’t in the best shape. What next?
Here we will cover the steps you need to follow if you’ve hit a kangaroo, including:
- Steps to follow if you hit a kangaroo
- The types of damage kangaroos can inflict upon your vehicle
- Repairs your vehicle might need in the event of a kangaroo collision
- Insurance claims for kangaroo-related vehicle damage
Steps to follow if you hit a kangaroo
Before we get into it, there are a few things you can do to avoid hitting a kangaroo in the first place. Read our “How to avoid hitting kangaroos” article for tips and advice.
In the event that you hit a kangaroo, take a deep breath and try not to panic. You must follow an important set of steps to protect your safety.
- Check if it’s safe to stop on the road.
- If the kangaroo isn’t breathing: pull it off the road, and check if there is a joey in its pouch.
- If the kangaroo is still alive: approach with caution; do not attempt to move it. Call WIRES at 1300 094 737. If you are in a rural area without mobile phone reception, go to the police station or local veterinarian when you get to the nearest town and notify them.
- Call 000 if necessary, as well as your insurance provider.
What type of car damage can kangaroos cause?
The average adult kangaroo weighs between 35 and 90 kilograms. Male kangaroos can leap lengths of almost 10 metres and heights of over three metres, and reach speeds of 60km p/h*. Needless to say, colliding with an animal as strong and fast as a kangaroo can leave your vehicle in a serious scrape—especially if the incident occurs at night.
A kangaroo collision can cause many different types of damage to your vehicle. These could be as relatively insignificant as a smashed headlight or cracked bumper, to a serious head-on collision that results in a crumpled-up bonnet and internal damage, potentially with your engine. There’s also the possibility that a kangaroo could spin and hit the side of your car, interfering with side mirrors, windows, and other panels.
Some of these issues can be remedied by a quick and relatively inexpensive touch-up by a panel beater, and your car will be on the road again in no time. With severe cases, there’s a chance that your car could be a write-off, with repairs well exceeding the value of the vehicle.
Insurance claims for kangaroo-related vehicle damage
Kangaroo collisions cost an estimated $5,000 in damages, and in the most extreme cases repairs can completely eclipse the cost of your car. In 2018, the NRMA reported a 20 per cent increase on claims received from the previous year, with 14,500 claims*.
DingGo always recommends reviewing your insurance policy, particularly in the lead-up to a long drive or holiday. If you live in a rural area—or another location where there may be a high volume of kangaroos—it’s a good idea to get comprehensive car insurance, if you don’t have it already*.
Hitting a kangaroo is always going to be a scary, shocking experience, and we hope this article has allowed you to feel prepared if the situation ever arises. Don’t forget to use DingGo’s quick quotes service for any and all of your panel beating needs.