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Old 07-05-08, 07:44 PM   #1
banerjek
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A very decent driving record forever tarnished

In over 25 years of driving, I had never hit a mammal on the road. I have collided with 2 birds that swooped down. While I feel bad about that, there really was nothing I could have done. A few times over the years, I have taken full advantage of the handling limits of the vehicle I was driving as well as unique possibilities offered by the situation to avoid hitting something.

As I was driving down the highway, a bunny rabbit suddenly darted from the side with perfect timing as if he was trying to commit suicide. Had I been going the speed limit like I should have been, there would have been an outside chance of avoiding him, but even then it would have been tough. I did my best, but it wasn't enough.
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Old 07-05-08, 07:48 PM   #2
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Did you have rabbit stew for dinner? I hate rabbit myself but figure why waste it?!
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Old 07-05-08, 07:49 PM   #3
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One more deer and I'm an ace.
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Old 07-05-08, 08:09 PM   #4
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the day I proposed to my fiancee, we were driving to her parent's place and there was a pigeon on the highway... yeah... it was sad because we kinda made eye-contact before i heard a thump.

and then i looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a cloud of feathers.
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Old 07-05-08, 08:09 PM   #5
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Don't feel bad. I doubt it was any sort of threatened or endangered rabbit or hare. Might have just been some ex-Easter present some idiot left to the coyotes, as evidenced by it's depressive and suicidal nature.

I once hit two raccoons having sex in the middle of a highway on a dark night. I could see them cartwheeling onto the shoulder by the light of my taillights. I too, felt bad, but made it through all the steps of grieving in a couple of seconds.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:03 PM   #6
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A cat once darted under my the front wheel of my road bike. It survived but the squirrel that tried the same thing did not. It happens.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:21 PM   #7
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Did you have rabbit stew for dinner? I hate rabbit myself but figure why waste it?!
Strangely enough, I thought about that. I'm a pacifist by nature, but I figure that I shouldn't kill things unless I intend to eat them. This means among other things that I don't kill bugs in the house. Either I let them stay, or I capture them. Took my wife a few years to get used to that.

There are a couple exceptions. Some things are by their nature very aggressive and will attack anything close to them. Hornets and certain types of wasps are like that. Also, recently maggots were burrowing into my very sick pooch. Effin' maggots. Those that I couldn't pull out and toss to the birds got poisoned.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:31 PM   #8
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I've seen the person in front of me on the road getting hit or nearly escaping getting hit by deer plenty. It's not a pleasant sight or thought.

Thankfully, the worst I've done is hit a bird with a motorcycle, and run over a snake with a bicycle.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:37 PM   #9
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there was once this place in New Mexico with suicide jackrabbits every half mile or so. After the third or fourth one, my GF at the time couldn't stand to drive anymore and I had to take over. Now I can't remember if I hit any or not; but generally, I try to avoid both wildlife and pets on the road, all I can remember for sure is a few birds that flew into my truck in Texas, but I also remember rescuing several turtles on the road in Texas, one was a big sucker, about 12 X18", he peed on me and I dropped him at first, but then I picked him up and took him across. I generally leave most insects alone, especially spiders, but I'm not particularly fond of yellow jackets, most ants, roaches, ticks, fleas, mosquitos or carpet beetles, and have been known to kill on sight.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:45 PM   #10
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I've been pretty good about not being a road killer. Parents raised me to be careful, and I'm pretty glad about it. Of course, that doesn't mean that I've always been successful.

I got invited to the prom one year, and offered to do all the driving. So, we left her house and were driving toward our dinner restaurant. I crested a hill, and two doves were sitting right there in the traffic lane. Nowhere for me to go. I saw them both squished when I looked back in the rearview. I said some kind of apology to my date. Not even sure if she noticed. Odd that the roadkill thing is one of the strongest memories of the evening. I told my parents about it, and mom said that a similar incident was the first time she hit something as well.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
In over 25 years of driving, I had never hit a mammal on the road. I have collided with 2 birds that swooped down. While I feel bad about that, there really was nothing I could have done. A few times over the years, I have taken full advantage of the handling limits of the vehicle I was driving as well as unique possibilities offered by the situation to avoid hitting something.

As I was driving down the highway, a bunny rabbit suddenly darted from the side with perfect timing as if he was trying to commit suicide. Had I been going the speed limit like I should have been, there would have been an outside chance of avoiding him, but even then it would have been tough. I did my best, but it wasn't enough.
Did you try to "bunnyhop" over it?

Seriously, I've caught myself trying to bunnyhop my truck. It must be a cyclist reaction thing.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:57 PM   #12
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It must be a cyclist reaction thing.
Ever try to unclip from the accelerator?

*points at self*
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Old 07-05-08, 11:52 PM   #13
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This is the season of the stupid young, banerjek. Don't beat yourself up...
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Old 07-06-08, 03:51 AM   #14
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There's nothing worse than a hare out of place!
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Old 07-06-08, 04:50 AM   #15
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Ever try to unclip from the accelerator?

*points at self*
Please tell me you're not kidding, because that would be seriously awesome.
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Old 07-06-08, 08:46 PM   #16
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I know I'm going to pay for laughing at this in my next life, but:

When I was living in rural Mississippi, I was behind a random car driving down back roads. The people who lived on this particular stretch raised emu -- the big flightless bird. Unfortunately, one of them had escaped and wandered off into the road.

I was following far enough behind that all I saw were the brake lights of the car ahead of me; I heard SCREEETCH, and then that car was covered by a cloud of feathers. I was horrified, but I couldn't help laughing...
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Old 07-06-08, 09:45 PM   #17
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just be glad it was a rabbit and not an armadillo.
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Old 07-06-08, 10:08 PM   #18
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I have bad luck with birds....


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Old 07-07-08, 06:48 AM   #19
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ran over a groundhog, on my motorcycle. Talk about pucker factor......
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Old 07-07-08, 06:52 AM   #20
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Just recently nearly split a chipmunk in two on the roadbike He didn't go pretty either.
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Old 07-07-08, 08:53 AM   #21
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In many parts of the West, grouse like to hide by the side of the road and spontaneously fly across it at random intervals. I took out a grouse once when it decided to do this as I was traveling at 60 mph on the highway. It impacted at the top of the grill/hood edge and more or less exploded. The spray of guts onto my windshield really impressed the kids.
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Old 07-07-08, 08:59 AM   #22
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You need a new bumper sticker:

Be vewwy, vewwy quiet, I am wabbit hunting"

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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-07-08, 09:08 AM   #23
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I remember another incident kinda late jr. high/early high school where my great-aunt and uncle took us on a car ride to a nearby state park. Uncle was driving. We had to go on some twisty roads to get there. As we were riding on one such road, I saw a bird sitting on the center yellow line. I didn't say anything as I thought for sure Uncle would either see it or wouldn't get that close to the center. Wrong on both counts. I looked out the rear window and the bird was squished. The odd thing was that its front half appeared to be nearly flat, and the back half was utterly undamaged.
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Old 07-07-08, 09:24 AM   #24
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Funny enough, the last animal I hit was a rabbit.

Going about 60 mph on a two-lane rural road, I saw a little white rabbit maybe a thousand feet ahead (it helped that I was on a downhill slope and the rabbit was on the flat). It was exactly centered in the lane, just kind of noodling around. I hoped that he'd either get out of the way or stay perfectly still so I'd zoom overhead.

When I got a couple hundred feet away, it started hopping off the road. "Whew", I thought. When I got about fifty feet away (remember, at 60 mph, 50' comes up FAST), the bugger decided to hop back into the middle of the lane.

I don't like hitting animals, but I'm no idiot, either, and I'm not going to roll my car and put myself and my dad (he was riding with me) in a world of hurt. So, I just hung on and hoped for the best.

He must've been in midair when I nailed him with my license plate. I found out later that the plate was dented inwards and yanked a couple of the mounting screws out of the bumper. I checked for the carnage in my rearview, and saw a large white shape skittering down the pavement and four smaller white shapes tumbling alongside.

At least it was quick...

I've hit, and been hit in the side by, a few birds. One that was actually funny was a small bird that hit the nosecap of my Honda, right on the "H" logo, while I was going about 60 mph. It went straight up, and in the mirror, I saw it drop straight back to the road in the center of the lane. BAM!.... "Huh?!".... *plop*

I guess we'd need one of these to avoid damage to the car itself, although damage to your head depends on some luck, too:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=rGJ0fJN10YY
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Old 07-07-08, 10:28 AM   #25
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Coming west out of Silver City in Oregon My son and I were driving along this gravel road alongside two nice fields of Alfalfa. The jackrabbits were thick and they must have been trained by the local rancher to attack any strange truck coming along.

One tried to slow me down for his buddies by runnig along in front of the truck dodging back and forth. I am sure he was trying to distract me so the other bunnies would be able to mob me and pull me under the massed weight of them.

It didn't work, as he dodged one final time in front of my wheel. But I had slowed down enough for the other rabbits to attack. For at least a mile I kept seeing them jump out at my truck every 20 feet or so and try to slow me down, only to find themselves not equal to the task of pulling my s 10 down.

I lost count of how many jackrabbits we hit and flung but it sure was surreal. And my Jack Russell in the campershell was having a fit because she wanted each and every rabbit.

Steven
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