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To think most people don't care about wildlife on country roads?

(89 Posts)
BastardGoDarkly Tue 28-Mar-17 09:22:15

I know sometimes its completely unavoidable, but I've lived in the country for 9 years now, on very twisty, one car roads.

I've never hit anything, not once, so why are there so many casualties? Have I just been really lucky? (there's been many a close call) or do most people not care about pigeons/rabbits/pheasants?

Pardonwhat Tue 28-Mar-17 09:24:41

I've been hit a bird before. Didn't mean to. Don't think most people intend to hit and harm wildlife. I had a deer dive out at me last week, luckily I avoided hitting it!

corythatwas Tue 28-Mar-17 09:26:31

You have been lucky, OP. We've never hit anything either, but I do not delude myself that dh would be able to do anything about if a pigeon suddenly took it into its head to fly into his wind screen, as pigeons do.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 28-Mar-17 09:26:44

Bit mean! I hit a fox once, I was going at 50mph down a totally dark A road late at night, it was in front of me in the headlights before I could see it as there were no lights on the road. Wasn't very nice, poor fox.

Hygellig Tue 28-Mar-17 09:26:57

I've never knowingly hit anything, but I don't do a lot of night driving. I do see a lot of roadkill - badgers, hedgehogs and foxes, which is really sad and worrying when the populations of hedgehogs are in decline.

DH was driving on the motorway recently and a pheasant walked out in front of him. He couldn't really avoid it.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 28-Mar-17 09:27:28

Most wildlife is definitely hit on roads at night.

jingscrivvens Tue 28-Mar-17 09:31:01

I've had to do many an emergency stop for a pheasant, they just can't be bothered flying out of the way so I can understand why so many of them get hit.
I once hit a squirrel and I was distraught.

ARumWithAView Tue 28-Mar-17 09:35:17

I grew up driving in the country, and it can be almost impossible to dodge a small creature leaping into the road without putting yourself and other drivers at risk. It happens in a split second, and there's no safe way to do a sudden swerve on a narrow, twisty road with poor visibility. I love animals, but I wouldn't kill myself or anyone else for a pheasant.

NataliaOsipova Tue 28-Mar-17 09:36:43

There was an unbelievably sad case around us a few years ago when two young teenagers were killed as they swerved to avoid a deer. They crashed the car, which went up in flames, killing them both. The advice disseminated widely after that was, in that sort of situation, to maintain control of the vehicle as best you can and to hit the animal as to try to perform an emergency stop or to swerve can put you and other drivers in significant danger.

It's not nice and it's not instinctive - most people's natural instinct is to try to avoid an animal on the road. But better that than you end up badly hurt or worse - or causing the same to someone else.

Knifegrinder Tue 28-Mar-17 09:37:28

Well, if your local roads are very twisty and one-track, there's part of your answer, surely. You aren't able to go as fast, so you are less likely to hit something. I don't think anyone is being actively careless about running over rabbits, badgers or foxes (which is most of our local roadkill) but if you're driving at the speed limit in a 60 zone, with a car close behind you, you can't stop safely when a pheasant wanders out onto the road and stops for a think.

A lot will depend on habitats as well - there are pheasant shoots around here, so lots of dim-witted birds wandering about at times of the year, and unfortunately there's a big badger sett on the far side of a main road close, and the badgers cross it at night to forage, which ends in a lot of deaths.

liquidrevolution Tue 28-Mar-17 09:39:16

Two pheasants in 7 years. There are a lot of pheasants around here.

I dont do it for fun though hmm

BastardGoDarkly Tue 28-Mar-17 09:40:25

My biggest fear is a deer jumping out to be honest.

No,I don't think people should risk themselves, of course not, I think they should probably drive slower, but the limits set round here seem crazy to me anyway, how can 60 be safe on roads like this?

Eve Tue 28-Mar-17 09:40:43

most people where I live ( rural ) speed along country roads and don't care much for cyclists, horse riders, walkers never mind wildlife.

Scrubba Tue 28-Mar-17 09:43:18

I live rural, you see plenty of roadkill but I've never personally been the one to hit it.
I've had several near misses. Two being deer. I'd have cared massively if I'd have hit them, partly because one was a massive stag and could have written my car off or perhaps even, if I'd swerved to the other direction, caused an accident that could have harmed my young kids that were in the car with me at the time! I'd never go for them full on with a view to doing it on purpose, why would you think that?? hmm

TwentyCups Tue 28-Mar-17 09:44:43

I've hit a rabbit. It was around a year ago and I just didn't have time to stop ( I tried). I don't eat animals and love all kinds of them it was just an accident that has played on my mind since.
I'd like to think most people do all they can to avoid this but sometimes it's not possible.

BastardGoDarkly Tue 28-Mar-17 09:45:01

I don't think that Scrubba hmm

Mamagin Tue 28-Mar-17 09:46:28

Agree with Eve, people drive at stupid speeds.
Friend of ours was nearly killed by being knocked off his motorbike by some idiot making a U-turn directly in front of him, as they had seen an injured pigeon in the road and wanted to see if it could be helped.

BastardGoDarkly Tue 28-Mar-17 09:49:01

shoulve posted in chat

I was genuinely wondering if I'd just been lucky, there are just so many, I do find it odd I drive on the same roads and have never hit anything. I work until midnight, so come down them around 12.30, also during the day, I think i must just drive slower.

TopBitchoftheWitches Tue 28-Mar-17 09:51:44

A pheasant flew into my drivers side window last week.
No idea if it survived as I didn't stop due to the car behind me. I really didn't want that to rear end my car.
Pheasants aren't that bright tbh.

I do recall the idiot who slammed her brakes on for a bird that was walking across a national speed limit road. So dangerous.

NataliaOsipova Tue 28-Mar-17 09:53:46

I'm afraid I think that in this sort of situation, all sentimentality has to go out of the window for safety reasons. Happened to us a few months ago - busy road in a rural area and a fox ran into the road. My DH uttered an expletive, then just steadied himself and hit it. If he'd stopped suddenly? One of the cars behind, travelling at reasonable speed, would have hit the back of the car where our children were sitting. If he'd swerved? He'd have hit one of the the cars going in the other direction and certainly caused a major accident. Was it a shame he hit the fox? Of course. But he did exactly the right thing.

Crispsheets Tue 28-Mar-17 09:55:19

I wouldn't swerve to avoid wildlife, unless it was a deer.

MaidOfStars Tue 28-Mar-17 10:23:58

I have run over a cat, a squirrel, a rat, a pigeon, a few pheasants. I have hit a deer.

Only the pheasants and deer were on country roads, and only the deer at night.

I will slow as much as is safe, then mentally brace myself to go over. Of course, sometimes it's safe to slow down a lot and a few engine revs often work.

The deer: was about 3 am, rural road, stared me down on my side of the road. I crossed to the other side at about 15 mph to pass it and the fucker ran back across me.

bignamechangeroonie Tue 28-Mar-17 10:30:46

You're supposed to go at the speed of the road within the limit but as fast as conditions allow. For me that's less than 40 in the countryside in the dark.

The boy racer behind me didn't agree, overtook on a windy country road and ploughed into a pack of deer (and wrote his car off). I had to emergency stop when I went round the corner even though I was doing 30.

Dark nighttime country single track roads are not the place for doing 50/60.

Smurfpoo Tue 28-Mar-17 10:38:58

I don't think people are doing it intentionally!
Ive hit a rabbit on a dual carriageway in the dark, i only saw it when my headlights hit it. At which point i was on it.

QuestionableMouse Tue 28-Mar-17 10:41:46

I killed a pheasant that flew directly out of the hedge and into my car. Nothing I could do to avoid it. Sometimes it cant be helped.

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