Kangaroos are native to Australia and are found in large numbers throughout Western Australia. They are a constant risk along any rural road, including the major highways and main roads, because they are attracted to the road where puddles of water form after rains.
Kangaroos can weigh up to 90 kilograms and if you collide with one, especially at high speed, it may result in loss of control of your vehicle, major vehicle damage, serious personal injury or even death. It is not unknown for struck kangaroos to be thrown up over the bonnet (hood) of a car and crash through the windscreen, severely injuring the occupants.
A sign warning of kangaroos may be placed by the road where there is a known high risk of kangaroos gathering alongside the road or crossing the road at a particular locality. Drivers are advised to take heed of any such sign and slow down, scanning visually from side to side and watch out for any movement from the edges of the road. However kangaroos are so widespread throughout Western Australia that the absence of a warning sign does not mean there is no risk. You must always be vigilant about scanning the road for kangaroos – especially at dusk and dawn.
Kangaroos, like all wild animals, are unpredictable and can move very suddenly and quickly and may be panicked by the sight and sound of a vehicle. They also tend to gather and travel in groups (mobs) and if you see one by the road or on the road, chances are there are others nearby. Do not just focus on the one you have seen.
Kangaroos usually rest during the day and are most active between dusk and dawn. Travelling at high speeds at night on rural roads can significantly increase your risk of colliding with a kangaroo. Where possible, limit your driving to the daylight hours. If you must drive at night, place your headlights on high beam (but dip them for oncoming traffic), reduce your speed and constantly scan the edges of the road. If you see a vehicle in front of you which has slowed or stopped, the driver may have spotted a kangaroo or other hazard – slow down and be prepared to stop.