Watch for animals

Animals on country roads

Wildlife, wild horses (brumbies) and livestock on the roads can pose an added risk to motorists. 1 in every 41 crashes resulting in injury or death on country roads involve a vehicle hitting an animal.

Wildlife, especially kangaroos and wallabies, may appear on or near the road - particularly around dusk or dawn, when visibility is reduced. They can be fast and unpredictable. When they stray onto the road, it’s hard to know what they’ll do next.

1 in every 41 casualty crashes on country roads involves a vehicle hitting an animal.


Livestock such as cattle and sheep are also sometimes found on or near the road and can present a danger when driving or riding. Slowing down and staying alert, especially around dusk or dawn, could save a collision and save your life.

Safe driving tips 

  • Reduce your speed – Slow down and look out for wildlife on or near the roadside.

  • Stay alert – Animals can be more active near waterholes and creeks and harder to see at sunrise and sunset. They can be fast and unpredictable. Stay alert and expect the unexpected.

  • Brake safely – Apply your brakes in a careful, controlled manner. Leave space and pass with care when it is safe to do so.

  • Don’t swerve – Take great care if you manoeuvre to avoid an animal. You may lose control of your vehicle if you swerve too harshly.

  • Follow animal warning signs - Take note of warning signs alerting you to the presence of animals in the area. If you see these signs, slow down, stay alert and be prepared to stop if required 

  • Report injured wildlife – call WIRES on 1300 094 737 or use the IFAW Wildlife rescue app to find a suitable wildlife rescue organisation for your location. 

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 (PDF, 713.74 KB)

You can also find more information about sharing the road with horses in the Road User Handbook
We are dedicated to the conservation of our native animals. For more information, visit Sustainability Transport for NSW

Horses in traffic 

Horse riders have the right to share our roads. They have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers, motorcycle riders and bicycle riders. Horses can be easily scared so you must take extra care when driving near them. 

Safety tips for drivers

  • Be aware that horses can be easily frightened and unpredictable. 
  • Slow down and take extra care on bends, crests and narrow roads, particularly in areas close to horse riding schools or where you see warning signage. 
  • If you’re passing a horse, whether it’s being ridden or led, or is pulling a vehicle, remember to: 
    • slow down and allow plenty of room when overtaking 
    • never use your horn or rev your engine, as this could scare the horse. 
  • Leave enough room while passing a horse, and don’t drive too fast or make loud noises that can scare a horse. 
  • If you're involved in a crash, you must stop and provide relevant information. If someone is injured or there's damage to property, call Triple Zero (000). If a horse is injured, contact the nearest vet. 
  • Report injured wildlife by calling WIRES on 1300 094 737, or use the IFAW Wildlife rescue app to find a suitable wildlife rescue organisation for your location. 
  • Ensure you're familiar with and follow any warning signs alerting you to the presence of horses. 

Safety for horse riders 

  • Use horse trails where possible. If you do ride on the road, always: 
    • obey road rules 
    • avoid tight corners/crests, and instead, ride on roads where drivers have a good line of sight 
    • ride on the left-hand side of the road in the same direction as the traffic 
    • use clear hand signals to tell drivers your intent to turn. 
  • You can walk or ride your horse on footpaths and nature strips unless specifically prohibited and provided you always give way to pedestrians. 
  • Ride during daylight hours and wear bright coloured clothing. 
  • You can ride side-by-side with another horse rider as long as there's enough space to do so safely and you’re within 1.5 metres of each other. 
  • Always wear a helmet that meets Australian Standards. 

      For more information