CANBERRA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Australia's most iconic native animal, the kangaroo, causes more road accidents in the nation than all other animals combined, according to new data.
Statistics released by one of Australia's leading general insurance providers -- AAMI -- revealed that kangaroos are responsible for nine out of 10 road accidents involving animals.
AAMI analyzed almost 20,000 reported road claims made in 2015 and found that kangaroos accounted for 88 percent of the accidents, while wallabies (6 percent), wombats (3 percent) and dogs (2 percent) made up the most common animal collisions in Australia.
Kangaroos are large marsupials that are found only in Australia. They are well known for their ability to jump and carry their babies, called joeys, in their pouch. Estimates of Australia's kangaroo population vary between 30 and 60 million. They can be spotted in the wild in most rural parts of Australia.
AAMI spokesman, Michael Mills, said collisions between vehicles and animals on Australian roads jumped by 68 percent in winter, peaking in the period of June and August, with a major spike in July.
"Shorter days during winter mean we're on the roads more at times when animals are on the move, and combined with poor weather conditions and reduced visibility, make the chances of hitting an animal more likely," Mills said in an AAMI statement on Tuesday.
"Colliding with an animal is a frightening and traumatic experience, especially if the animal is injured or killed, and can result in serious damage or injury."
Mills said accidents could pose a serious danger to both the drivers and the animals.
"It's vital that drivers keep a lookout for wildlife on the road, particularly on country roads and rural and regional areas near national parks and forests," he said on Tuesday.
"Wildlife is unpredictable and can appear out of nowhere so it's important to slow down and be aware of your environment, particularly inside sign posted wildlife areas."
AAMI's data showed that the majority of animal related crashes happen towards the latter part of the week, with Friday being the worst day.
The analysis pinpointed the worst spots in the nation for animal-related collisions, with Queanbeyan in southeast New South Wales (NSW) being named the road-kill capital of Australia.
The Victorian city of Bendigo, the Queensland town of Dingo and the NSW town of Singleton and city of Goulburn rounded out the worst five hotspots for animal accidents in the country.