Avoiding Road Kill

My husband and I have a fairly safe driving ritual when we go somewhere together.  He drives, I don’t.  He drives, and I am usually on the computer trying to catch up with reading and commenting.

My feet are usually propped on the dash.  My computer at the right angle so I can see the screen, and yet see the road by just raising my eyes.  He may be talking with me.  Or the music may be playing.  It’s a comfortable routine.   And there is a familiarity to it.  You sit next to someone for what adds up to years in a vehicle and you sense the changes or nuances that are occurring next to you.  Subtle or glaring…you know when something is happening.

A week doesn’t go by where we don’t spend at the least, a few hours driving hither and yon.  You have no idea how often we have to go yon.

We were settled in and driving along.  I felt a shift in the atmosphere.  I looked up and over to husband’s driving.  He was checking mirrors and as I looked forward he was swiftly pulling to the left.  Across the middle line.  There, ahead, was a very large and off white dog.  I thought it was a dog.   Husband used to teach driver’s education.   The rule of thumb is you are not supposed to swerve for animals.  Because that can cause an accident of different proportions than hitting an animal.  I don’t know about you but I don’t know many people who can purposefully plow in to an animal if they can help it.  Neither of us could do it.  In a situation between hit a car or person, I will sadly sacrifice the animal.  And feel horrible about it.  But if it can be avoided, I’m not hitting an animal.

Neither was he this day.

With nothing behind us and nothing coming towards us he swerved to avoid hitting the not so bright animal sitting comfortably and a little too cozily in the middle of the road.

From the way it was sitting we knew it wasn’t dead.  But it was having NO reaction to us as we whizzed by.

It was bizarre.

It was large enough to do damage to a vehicle if it was hit.

Even if it was only a stuffed animal.

46 thoughts on “Avoiding Road Kill

  1. I breathed a sigh of relief. It is a terrible situation to be in, faced with the sudden appearance of an animal on the road. I hit ‘something’ one night. I don’t know what it was, a fox, a dog. It was dark and happened in a split second. I pulled over to try and see what I had hit, to try and help if I could, but it had vanished. I cried all the way home, not knowing what damage I had done. I am glad yours was stuffed..and not in the way I thought.

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  2. Glad you are both safe, but odd about the dog. A stuffed animal? A moving truck fail, or a kid in a tantrum? Not the usual for the road that is for certain.
    Nice build up…my heart was pounding! 🙂

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  3. Or u actually stopped and got our to help said dog, only to discover it was not

    I am glad all is well but hat could have turned out very badly

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  4. Colleen, dang you girl, you had me you had me so good!!!! My heart was in my throat concerned for you and damn if you didn’t get me LOL LOL. Great post. Bill

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  5. I, too, have often been told one should not swerve to avoid animals lest one create a situation where humans are injured or lose their lives.

    the reality is that when something dashes into the road in front of you or you turn round a bend in the road and there is something in the middle of the road, you don’t have time to analyse and evaluate the situation (is it a child, an animal, or a stuffed toy) before deciding what action to take – instinct takes over, and you automatically brake or swerve

    I used to live in the country and travel home at night along narrow, winding roads – the only illumination coming from the moon and stars, and the headlights of my car

    the whole journey, my eyes would be watching the verges either side of the road, with my foot hovering over the brake – ready to react if a rabbit, hedgehog, or fox decided to cross the road in front of me

    it was always with a sense of relief when I reached home safely without causing harm to another living being !

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    • Oh I can relate to that sense of relief Duncan! I too used to live in the country. The deer, the dogs, the FOX, the critters of every kind were constantly testing my nerves. I hit that dog earlier this year and it did a horrible number on me. I don’t ever want to go through that again, or inflict that again.

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