What to Do if You Hit a Roo: A Comprehensive Guide for South Australian Drivers

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What to Do if You Hit a Roo: A Comprehensive Guide for South Australian Drivers

Hitting a kangaroo while driving is an unfortunate but common occurrence on South Australian roads. Knowing what to do in such a situation is crucial for ensuring the safety of both the driver and the wildlife. This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to handle the aftermath of hitting a kangaroo, emphasising safety for all involved.

Assessing the Situation Safely

Stay Calm and Safe

The first and most important step is to remain calm. Panicking can lead to poor decision-making and further accidents. Ensure your vehicle is safely off the road, away from traffic. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence.

Check for Injuries

Once your vehicle is safely positioned, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call emergency services immediately by dialling 000. Provide them with your location and details about the injuries.

Ensuring Safety for the Kangaroo and Other Wildlife

Approach with Caution

Before approaching the kangaroo, it’s important to assess the situation from a distance. Kangaroos can become aggressive when injured or frightened. Approach slowly and avoid making sudden movements that might startle the animal.

Check for Signs of Life

If the kangaroo appears lifeless, check for signs of breathing or movement from a safe distance. If the kangaroo is alive, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Injured kangaroos can inflict serious injuries with their powerful legs and claws. If the kangaroo is dead, check its pouch for a joey (baby kangaroo), as joeys often survive the impact. If you find a joey, do not try to remove it; wait for professional assistance.

Contacting Authorities and Animal Rescue Services

Call for Help

Immediately contact local wildlife rescue organisations or animal control services. In South Australia, you can reach out to Fauna Rescue SA or the RSPCA. Provide them with the location of the incident, the condition of the kangaroo, and any immediate hazards. Here are some useful contact numbers:

  • Fauna Rescue SA: 08 8289 0896
  • RSPCA South Australia: 1300 4 77722

Report the Incident

If the kangaroo causes significant damage to your vehicle or creates a traffic hazard, report the incident to the police. This is crucial for public safety and can also be necessary for insurance purposes. Provide the police with details about the location and nature of the incident.

Dealing with Vehicle Damage and Insurance

Assess Vehicle Damage

After ensuring everyone’s safety, check your vehicle for damage. Look for issues that may affect your ability to drive safely, such as broken headlights, damaged radiators, or leaking fluids. If your vehicle is unsafe to drive, arrange for it to be towed.

Insurance Claims

Contact your insurance company to report the incident and initiate a claim. Take photos of the scene, the kangaroo, and the damage to your vehicle as evidence. This documentation will be valuable for your insurance claim. Be sure to provide a detailed account of the incident, including the time, location, and any actions you took.

Handling an Injured Kangaroo

Do Not Attempt to Move the Kangaroo

It is crucial not to move an injured kangaroo. Doing so can cause further injury to the animal and pose a risk to yourself. Injured kangaroos can react unpredictably and may attempt to defend themselves.

Wait for Professionals

Wait for wildlife rescue professionals to arrive and handle the situation. They have the necessary training and equipment to safely manage injured wildlife. Your patience and cooperation are essential in ensuring the best outcome for the kangaroo.

Preventative Measures for the Future

Drive Safely in Kangaroo-Prone Areas

To reduce the risk of hitting a kangaroo, drive cautiously, especially in areas known for high kangaroo populations. Reduce your speed during dawn and dusk when kangaroos are most active. Install kangaroo whistles on your vehicle as a deterrent, though their effectiveness can vary.

Stay Informed and Prepared

Keep emergency contact numbers and a first-aid kit in your vehicle. Familiarize yourself with local wildlife rescue services and their procedures. Consider taking a wildlife safety course if available, as it can provide valuable knowledge on handling such situations.


If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of hitting a kangaroo, staying calm and following the correct procedures is vital. Ensure your safety and the safety of others, contact the appropriate authorities, and handle vehicle damage responsibly. Remember, the welfare of both humans and wildlife is paramount. By driving cautiously and being prepared, you can help reduce the chances of such incidents and ensure the best possible outcomes when they do occur.

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