Driver dilemma

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TJrandom
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Driver dilemma

Post by TJrandom » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:59 am

I have a dilemma that I have been musing over for several weeks now, having actually faced this decision.

The dilemma is what to do when driving and being faced with an animal intent on suicide. Do you break, and risk being hit from behind? Do you swerve to miss it, and risk hitting whatever is on the side of the road or worse – a car in the oncoming lane? Or do you aim for it, hoping to hit it squarely and put it out of its obviously miserable life as quick and painlessly as possible? Of course do nothing is possible, but seems to be the chicken way out – essentially making no decision, and taking no action.

So what I faced – was a small kitten at top speed that clipped the rear tire of the car in front of me. Had it been a second slower, it would have safely passed across. Cars at speed were behind me and oncoming traffic was heavy. The road was narrow, and elementary school kids were walking on the shoulder of the road. The cat flipped and was stretched near the middle of my lane, but was obviously still alive. There was a chance that it might still make it out alive. I thought about that, but I also saw an opportunity to hit it again, and crush its head. I had maybe three or four seconds to think and react.

But what to do? What would you do?

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scrmbldggs
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Re: Driver dilemma

Post by scrmbldggs » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:45 pm

As much as I can understand the desire to put a possibly ailing animal out of its misery, the "do nothing and hope it will still make it" seems a safer bet.

Even a small swerve could cause other drivers to react in some detrimental way and it's also not that uncommon for roadkill bones to pierce a tire (however weird that might seem, especially from a kitten) and your car could become another road hazard a little further down the road.
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Re: Driver dilemma

Post by Gord » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:19 pm

Everyone I know would do nothing and hope the kitten survives somehow.

Me, I hate cats....

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Re: Driver dilemma

Post by TJrandom » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:17 pm

I swerved just slightly - so as to miss the kitten with my tires, much as I would for any road debris, so just passed over him. I watched my rearview mirror to see if following cars swerved too, and to see if one of those school kids might run out to rescue it. But I observed nothing more. I still feel a bit guilty for not ending its misery.

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Re: Driver dilemma

Post by scrmbldggs » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:46 pm

I'm sorry. :(

Of course there are all kinds of possible outcomes and I do hope it survived and well enough at that, but I understand your concern. I'd be feeling similarly.
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