Hundreds of animals are killed on UK roads each week. Only a small amount of those are reported – the rest are sadly left as roadkill.
A new report by GoCompare has analysed the UK’s latest Roadkill Records data, to reveal Britain’s most dangerous areas and roads for wildlife, the animals most commonly involved, and the worst months for incidents to occur.
Six badgers and five hedgehogs are hit EACH day on UK roads
Small mammals are the most commonly hit animals on roads in the UK (8,580 a year). The second most common victim, at just over half the amount, are birds (4,652 a year). This is then followed by large mammals (1,000 a year).
Amphibians (72 a year) and Reptiles (18 a year) are the lower on the list, however, they are less likely to be reported.
These figures reveal that a shocking 39 critters are reported to be involved in collisions each day.
The top 15 most commonly reported animals to be hit on UK roads:
|Rank||Animal||No. animals hit by cars|
Badgers, pheasants and hedgehogs were among those most commonly involved in accidents on Britain’s roads with the data revealing a shocking 6 badgers, 5 pheasants and 5 hedgehogs are reported to be killed each day.
The A1 tops the UK’s deadliest roads for wildlife roadkill accidents
The UK’s longest road, the A1 had the highest percentage of roadkill reported. 7.65% of wildlife road collisions took place on this road that runs across the country from London to Edinburgh – with the most commonly hit animal on the A1 being a deer!
This was closely followed by the M6. This hotspot accounts for 7.24% of UK roadkill. The A1(M) came in third at 6.94%.
Here are the 10 worst roads for incidents with animals:
- A1, 7.65%
- M6, 7.24%
- A1(M), 6.94%
- A419/A417, 6.18%
- A19/A168, 5.24%
- A66, 4.24%
- M62, 4.06%
- M1, 3.35%
- A64, 3.06%
- M4, 2.94%
Despite being one of the shortest motorways in the UK, just outside Southampton, the M271 has seen the biggest increase in animal casualties – a 6.82% increase on previous years.
Greater Manchester’s A627(M) also saw a +6.11% increase compared to previous years.
Thetford, Southampton and Hull named as the areas with the HIGHEST numbers of roadkill
GoCompare also ranked the areas with the highest number of reported road incidents involving animals across the UK.
The South sees the most cases of animal collisions on their roads.
The top 15 areas with the MOST roadkill in the UK:
|Rank||Town||No. Animals hit by cars|
July sees more animal deaths on the road than any other month
July is by far the deadliest of the summer months. Out of the 14,649 reported deaths in a year, 3,519 of these occurred in July. Making it more dangerous than August (2,046) and September (1,404). In total, Summer sees more animal road deaths compared to any other time of year.
6th July has been named the most tragic day on record for roadkill. A massive 329 casualties were reported on this date alone!
On the opposite end of the scale, December sees the LEAST animal road casualties. Only 401 wildlife roadkill have been recorded over the festive period.
The months with the HIGHEST number of roadkill:
Ryan Fulthorpe, car expert at GoCompare added:
“It is important to raise awareness of the issues associated with animals on the roads as it can be distressing if you are involved in a collision, so knowing what to do will help if you are in this situation.
”Under the Road Traffic Act, you need to report any accidents involving dogs, horses, cattle (cows), pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys and mules.
“When driving, look out for road signs that alert you to areas with large animal populations and take extra care when driving at dawn and dusk, due to reduced visibility and wild animals (like deer) being more active during these times. Stay alert and change your speed accordingly. At night it is important you use your headlights in the correct way to increase the visibility of any wildlife on the road. Be extra vigilant on country roads.”
“The summer months are especially prone to more animals being hit on UK roads. This is due to wildlife being more active, but also us humans. With inbound travel predicted to be larger than ever this year from staycations, and animals being used to quieter roads due to lockdown, we should be extra cautious of wildlife on the road this summer.”
“Hitting any animal can be a traumatic experience for any driver. Make sure you are aware of the rules to follow. Dogs and farm animals are legally required to be reported if they are involved in the collision, dead or injured.”
Ryan added that in the event that you do hit an animal, this 4 step checklist summarises what drivers should do next:
- Try to stay calm and pull over safely to a safe place. Put your hazard lights on.
- Before leaving the vehicle, make sure everyone is okay and check for oncoming traffic or other dangers.
- If you have sustained damage make sure to contact the emergency services on 101, or your breakdown provider, depending on the extent of the damage.
- If you choose to help an injured animal, do so with extreme care, do not put yourself or others on the road at risk. Observe the animal, to assess how badly hurt it is. When approaching, be cautious of retaliation out of fear from the animal. Once you have reported it your legal duty is done, however, you can call the RSPCA emergency service for advice if you want to help the animal further.
- When it is safe to do so, tell your insurance provider if you do get into a collision, as they will need details to be able to cover the cost of any damage to your car.
GoCompare analysed the latest UK Roadkill Records data, part of Project Splatter to find the number of animals involved in, or killed during, a vehicle collision. The findings were then ranked to find out which animal was involved in the most incidents and where in the UK had the highest number of incidents. Data accurate as of 1 February 2021.
Share of accidents that occurred on the roads was calculated from the number of incidents recorded.