Centre for Road Safety

Animals on country roads are more prevalent around sunset and sunrise.

Drought increases risk for drivers

As feed and water levels continue to fall across NSW, increased numbers of wildlife and livestock on the roads pose an added risk to motorists.

The severe shortage of feed has forced farmers to graze stock on the roadsides, while cattle that have escaped in search of feed can be more unpredictable and present a serious road safety danger.

Wildlife, especially kangaroos and wallabies, are also drawn to the roadside, attracted by the feed watered by run-off from the roads.

Temporary warning signs in areas where cattle graze and also in native animal hotspots urge motorists to slow down and watch for animals on the roads.

Safe driving tips

One in every 41 casualty crashes on country roads involves a vehicle hitting an animal. Kangaroos, wombats and stray stock can move fast and be extremely unpredictable. When animals stray onto the road it’s hard to know what they’ll do next. Slowing down and being prepared, especially near sunrise and sunset, could save a collision or even save your life.

  • Be aware – animals are more active near waterholes and creeks, and harder to see at sunrise and sunset
  • Reduce your speed – slow down when you see animal  warning signs
  • Stay alert – animals are unpredictable, so expect the unexpected
  • Brake safely – always apply your brakes in a controlled manner
  • Never swerve – it is safer to hit an animal than swerve and lose control of your vehicle
  • Report injured wildlife – call WIRES on
    1300 094 737

If drivers come across a horse being ridden on the road, they should:

  • Slow down and allow plenty of room
  • Never sound the horn, rev the engine or pass at high speed
  • Slow down or stop if the rider is having difficulty.

Be prepared

For more information on how to react when you encounter animals on the road, call 13 22 13 or download Animals on country roads.

The Roads and Maritime Services website has information about sharing the road with horses in the Road Users' Handbook.