Wallan and Heathcote are among the top three animal collision hot spots in Australia, with Victoria the most likely place to be involved in an animal collision according to data from insurance company AAMI.
The towns came in at second and third spot nationally, and first and second spot across the state.
The towns of Seymour and Bendigo also recorded a high number of animal collisions, with these locations seeing the fourth and fifth highest number of animal collisions in Victoria.
The research revealed more than one in three (38 per cent) of the nation’s animal collisions occurs in Victoria.
With research revealing a peak in animal collisions as winter sets in, AAMI spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson said now was the time for drivers to be extra vigilant.
‘‘As the days shorten, motorists are sharing the road with animals for longer periods of time as they are most active during dawn and dusk,’’ Ms Paterson said.
‘‘Wildlife is unpredictable, so we encourage drivers to always expect the unexpected on the road, particularly in signposted wildlife areas.
‘‘Simple things like being aware of your surroundings, driving to the speed limits, and being extra vigilant at dawn and dusk can help keep you and our wildlife safe.’’
AAMI analysed more than 9000 accident insurance claims across Australia from March 2018 to February 2019 to collect the data.
Victorian motorists are most likely to collide with a kangaroo (83 per cent), wombat (five per cent), wallaby (three per cent), deer (three per cent) or dog (two per cent), although collisions also occurred with cows, foxes, sheep, emus, cats, possums, goats and a horse.
AAMI suggests slowing down if you notice road kill as it is an indicator more wildlife is in the area; staying vigilant when you spot a kangaroo crossing the road as more ’roos will likely follow because they move in groups; and if you see an animal on the road slow down and brake but avoid swerving.
If involved in a collision with an animal, stop and check its welfare if it is safe to do so, and call the local wildlife rescue service if it is alive and injured.
If a dead kangaroo is female, check to see if there are joeys in her pouch or around her.