What do you do if you hit a wild animal in your rental car?

You may have heard of the cheeky koala who wandered onto a freeway and caused a six car pile-up! Luckily no one was seriously hurt and the koala in question was safely released back into the wild. However, this isn’t always the case.

If you drive in Australia on a regional highway, especially at night, you’ll know there’s a chance of coming into contact with a wild animal. Some are simply trying to cross the busy road, while others can be spooked by headlights. With this in mind, the team at Everything Fleet has gathered a few useful tips to help you increase your wildlife road awareness, including what to consider when it comes to filling out the Vehicle Incident Report Form (VIRF).

  1. Take extra precautions – you should always be safe on the road; however, if you’re driving a rental car, you should take extra precautions. Drive the speed limit, be aware of road and weather conditions, and be vigilant to observe your surroundings especially in the early mornings, late afternoons and when it’s dark. You should also always pay attention to road signs – such as warning signs – so you will have a heads-up if you’re driving in an area where it’s common for animals to cross the road. Finally, wild animals often move in groups, so if you spot one, slow down and watch for others to follow.
  2. If you hit an animal – even if you are driving carefully at an appropriate speed, animals are unpredictable. If you do collide with one, stop and stay at the scene. Check to make sure everyone is okay and make sure the incident isn’t causing danger to others on the road. Call 000 if medical help is needed, and notify the police if the animal is still on the road causing a safety hazard. The police will help bring the right authorities (i.e. RSPCA, WIRES, Wildlife Australia) to potentially save the animal or dispose of it.
  3. Contact Everything Fleet and fill out a VIRF – next, check the rental car for any damages, including body damage, broken lights, or loose parts. Also, take some photos of the road and even the animal, since it can be useful to give context when filling out the VIRF. If you purchased Everything Fleet’s extra protection you are likely covered for the costs to repair or replace the vehicle – unless the accident was due to reckless driving or another breach of your rental agreement. Contact us or check out the terms and conditions of your rental agreement.
Final Word

Any type of vehicle-related accident is scary, but hitting an animal can be a nightmarish experience. You don’t have to be an animal lover to be horrified about the idea of hitting an animal on the road. However, accidents do happen and at Everything Fleet we believe it is best to always be proactive and prepared.

Enjoy peace of mind renting with Everything Fleet knowing you have access to 24/7 roadside assistance. We’d love to see you in-store today! Stop by and let us know how we can help you.