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Road kill

  1. Apr 15, 2006 #1

    wolram

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    Why is it that the wild life of the UK gathers by the road side in the early
    mornning, i am sure the whole rabbit population, with a smattering of
    badgers, muntjacs, phesants, come to try and get them selfs killed, i am
    also sure that a lot of drivers do not take any evasive action to avoid
    hitting them, they must enjoy cleaning the gore from their cars. :yuck:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2006 #2

    Curious3141

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    As a general rule, you *should not* take evasive action to avoid killing animals (OK, nonhuman animals). This can lead to a far worse situation than just hitting the damned thing.

    I can tell you about friends in the US who hit deer head on and got stuck with a $3000 repair bill.

    Then I can tell you about others who tried to avoid, ended up in a tree and got stuck with a totalled car or worse, having to trade their life for the deer's.

    The natural reflex is to avoid, so train yourself to go grimly onward and run the animal over. Of course, you shouldn't be driving too fast along these roads in the first place, but if an emergency arises, go for the unavoidable kill.
     
  4. Apr 15, 2006 #3

    turbo

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    It's hard for me not to take evasive action in my truck because I have been riding motorcycles since I was a teen, and hitting animals with a bike (even a heavy one) is not cool. I instinctively brake and evade, if possible.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2006 #4
    I don't really agree with that, especially for bigger animals like deer. There were two people in the last year in my city who were killed in collisions with deer. They are big and hitting them at high speed is likely to do more than just bang up your bumper. Deer are notoriously hard to avoid though, since they run at you, (brilliant huh?) For smaller animals yes, you should probably worry less about avoiding them, especially in busy traffic, but you should make attempts to avoid bigger animals.

    ~Lyuokdea
     
  6. Apr 15, 2006 #5

    Astronuc

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    Best to slow down and drive carefully in areas where animals are likely to be on the road.

    I avoided a cat one time by swerving, but lost control and slid my my VW into a curb - transmission was destroyed. A large bush kept the car from rolling.

    I usually go slower in areas where the brush is close to the road, or where I know animals are likely to be at the roadside.

    On the other hand, I was suprised one night when a deer lept out of some bushes just as I passed. It stopped just before it bounded right in front of my car, and I believed I grazed it as I went by. An associate was not so lucky, he got broadsided by a deer, which pretty much damage the side of the car.

    Recently a local girl had a deer fly through her windshield after an on-coming truck hit it. She is just out of the hospital after several surgeries, and for a while, being in a coma. She was severely injured and will take a long time to recover.

    As a driver, one must be very watchful.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2006 #6

    BobG

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    I think I'd at least brake for a moose, cow, deer, or horse - maybe even an antelope.

    Generally, I'll at least brake for all animals, but I agree about not swerving your car to avoid them, especially in traffic (squirrels are very unpredictable when crossing a busy street).

    It's also a good idea to allow for the straggler deer that seems to pop up just after the main group clears the road (or the straggler in a pack of dogs following a female in heat).
     
  8. Apr 15, 2006 #7
    Don't wait up for the easter bunny this year....it appears he was the lastest victim.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Apr 15, 2006 #8

    turbo

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    Pity about the eggs. I don't brake for rabbits, though, basket or not. The biggest things I've hit were a fat porcupine (riding my Yamaha 350 at night, with date-now wife of 31 years- on the back. We stayed upright but that was a direct hit and threw us around a bit. Then on my '85 Superglide, I hit a big old coon while going in for the 11-7 shift. His head popped up and stripped my right foot off the peg - it stung and prickled so bad that I though I had hit another porcupine and had a foot full of quills. I didn't dare to put my feet down and look, so I slowed down, pulled a U-turn, went back and lit him with my headlights - it was just a coon so I put up with the bruising and didn't have to get quills pulled. This year, I hit a yearling white-tail (probably 90-100 lbs) - luckily I was in my Nissan pickup. When I saw the mother and sibling cross, I piled the brakes on, and hadn't managed to stop when the straggler tried to make it. Tally: one busted headlight, dented hood, and broken wiper blade, and a yearling with a leg that wasn't working right when he ran off. I was probably only doing about 25 by the time of impact, but I was really thankful that Junior didn't come through the windshield, and that I was pointed straight when he obscured my view for those few seconds until I could stop and he slid off.
     
  10. Apr 15, 2006 #9

    wolram

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    The roads are (quite) around here, maybe you would see two or three cars
    on a five mile journy, and with the twisty turny nature of the roads i hardly ever get above 4o mph, i think if i did not try to avoide animals, i would have
    killed four or five every trip.
     
  11. Apr 15, 2006 #10
    The rule I learned was to avoid them if you can. If in your discretion you can't do so safely, then don't. But you should always be able to at least brake safely. You are right, Lyuokdea collissions with deer have killed many many people.

    About those stupid animals wolram, around here we have some really stupid geese. They all gather at the side of the road when there are no cars. Then when the light down the street turns green and all the cars start approaching then they decide to start crossing the street just as those cars finally get there. Then they go into the street while the cars wait patiently for them, and waddle their butts across taking their sweet time. I'm talking serious stalling. Then they stop in the middle and decide to turn back and start walking back towards where they came from. Then they change their mind again and start walking the original direction. All the while the cars wait patiently. Then they stop for a second in the middle to catch their breath. Finally when they are about 85% of the way across and almost home free, then they realize, "oh that's right. We have wings, don't we!" and they take off flying just for about 20 feet and then land. Like they couldn't have flown across the road in the first place? They are either really stupid, or they like playing games with people.
     
  12. Apr 15, 2006 #11
    If they had a passenger, then they should have swerved. This is a picture that I will place as a link instead of in my message because some might find it disturbing. Just click if you want to. It looks like a common picture so you might have seen it before.

    http://www.drxarmy.com/chevreuil/Chevreuil VS Durango 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2006
  13. Apr 15, 2006 #12

    Moonbear

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    All the suicidal squirrels used to show up at 5 AM to run in front of me when I was towing a trailer with animals in it, so I had no way to swerve or brake quickly.

    Driving in to the farm this week, I've had to stop for squirrels, rabbits, and even a few ducks. But, I'm always driving carefully there anyway, just in case a cow is loose. I'm always on the lookout for deer and cattle in the road here anyway (those Black Angus won't show up well at night, and I know the neighbor's cattle do find holes in the fence from time to time).

    If there's nobody else on the road, of course I'll do my best to avoid if I can, but sometimes, there just isn't much choice if there's oncoming traffic, or someone following too close behind who isn't going to stop when you do if they can't see the animal you're suddenly stopping for. But, some days, I really do suspect Woolie is right, they just all line up on the side of the road waiting to play chicken with oncoming cars.

    Though, I haven't had a completely confused squirrel run in front of me for a long time. They used to be like that all the time, running back and forth, unsure of which way to go, and not making up their mind as the car is coming at them. Now, it seems more like they've all been killed off, and the smarter squirrels who know to run in just one direction are left. They usually run whichever way the nearest tree is.
     
  14. Apr 15, 2006 #13

    JamesU

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    The quails in my neighborhood are quite daring, there's a family of quails that walks in the streets alot. none of them have gotten hit though...
     
  15. Apr 15, 2006 #14

    wolram

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    In the dim distant past, my dad hit a cow while riding a motorbike, result
    dad in hospital, bike wrecked, cow walks away, have the animals found a
    way of getting rid of humans ?
     
  16. Apr 15, 2006 #15

    Evo

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    In all my years of driving, I have never hit an animal. Had a few close calls, but, like Astronuc, if I'm driving in an area where animals are known to wander into the road, I drive slower and brake at the slightest movement.

    We have tons of deer here and hardly a night goes by that I don't have 6-7 run across the road. There is ALWAYS one that is a few seconds behind the others. I'm always looking ahead when I drive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2006
  17. Apr 15, 2006 #16

    wolram

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    10yrs of driving and not killed anything is a good record, heck i may even
    feel safe with you driving. :biggrin:
     
  18. Apr 15, 2006 #17

    Evo

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    10 years, you dear man. :!!) :!!)
     
  19. Apr 15, 2006 #18

    Moonbear

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    I've hit 3 animals. :frown: Two squirrels and a bird, though, technically, the bird hit me...it flew into my windshield! :surprised One of the squirrels was when I was driving that trailer I mentioned in my earlier post...it just ran out way too fast, and there was nothing I could do that wouldn't have left several other animals in the trailer injured from a sudden swerve or stop. The other squirrel was when I was still a fairly new driver, back when they used to be more neurotic about running back and forth across the road, and I didn't properly anticipate it running back toward my car after getting most of the way across the road.

    Yeah, I'm pretty good at spotting the deer and anticipating where they're going. Especially during their mating season, I'm careful to watch for them, particularly the few hours around dawn (yeah, like I'm out driving at dawn), and dusk, when they're most active and most likely to be near the side of the road grazing.
     
  20. Apr 15, 2006 #19

    Evo

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    That's ok, it's almost impossible not to hit a determined squirrel. I have stopped in the road watching them scamper back and forth not sure of what to do. I'm surprised I haven't been rear-ended by someone not realizing I'm waiting for some nutty squirrel to decide which direction it's going. :grumpy:

    I keep my high beams on and watch for flickers of light from the bushes which are usually animals eyes. There are several areas where the fences are low and the deer are likely to jump across, I've warned the Evo Child to stay slow in these areas.

    I saw a buzzard get hit by an 18 wheeler on the highway. The bird's wingspan covered 4 lanes of traffic. My god those things are huge. Immediately other buzzards came to it's rescue. It was like a scene from Jurassic Park. Traffic was completely stopped in all directions. It was very sad. These birds were quite close. They woudn't leave the harmed one.
     
  21. Apr 15, 2006 #20

    Moonbear

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    I waver back and forth between high beams or not. The high beams can help spot a deer, but if it's in the middle of the road, the blinding light is more likely to stun it in place. Though, I do try to be ready to flick off the headlights briefly if I do spot a deer "stunned" in the middle of the road and swerve toward its rear so it'll be more likely to just keep going in the direction it's already heading.

    I can't really say how it is that I know the deer are there. The ones I've needed to avoid have never started out facing me for me to spot glowing eyes. It's more that I just sense something is "off" in the view ahead, so slow down without knowing just what it is that I saw. Sometimes it's motion that I catch in my peripheral vision, and the once that a deer was standing smack in the middle of the road, it was more that something was strange about the shadows ahead. It was too far to see what was there, other than there seemed to be a darker spot amidst all the other dark (roads with no street lights).
     
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