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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Danger: Braking or Swerving for Squirrels May Be Hazardous For Your Health


Live in the northern United States? Then you know squirrels are everywhere, even places they shouldn't be, like in the road playing a game I call "So You Think You Can Turn Me Into Roadkill?" 

I mean here are these relatively small animals.  They see my huge car coming (at least huge in comparison to their body size.)  You'd think they'd wait for me to go by right?  Of course not.  That would be the easy way.  No they run out in front of my car where I, of the guilty conscious if I run them over, swerve to avoid them.  Or worse, actually jam on my brakes to avoid turning them into roadkill. 

Here's a warning to you squirrels!  I finally realized that as soon as I swerve I'm risking a greater chance of human accidental death not to mention my insurance rates going up.  No, from now on I'm going to trust your little squirrel brains to calculate the risk of getting run over and adjust your squirrel speed when crossing the road accordingly.  I mean even though they have tiny brains I figure they're making a lot of split second decisions while they run across the street on how to avoid getting crushed.  And when I swerve I just make them have to recalculate.  I figure I'm increasing the work for their brains by 80% or so if I swerve to avoid them.  Therefore, I'm going to slow down a little, and yes, let them run the road.  Because YES, I would have a guilty conscious if I ran the nasty varmint over.  And I REALLY don't want my car insurance going up or to cause an accident where I'm hurt or some other human is hurt. 

So OK Squirrels.  For now you've won.  You own the road.  No more swerving to avoid you which is my initial instinct.  No, I'll just slow down, listen to the guy behind me honk his horn, and grit my teeth and not make comments under my breath (because after all, my mom taught me to be ladylike and not swear.)  And I'm going to trust you to out-think me--you've been doing it your entire life--and if you've miscalculated this time, well I'm afraid you've turned yourself into roadkill!

Because really, is it worth it to get upset over it? Nope! And face it, all those squirrels out there are alive for one reason, they've figured out how to dodge all those cars they've run in front of during their life span.  So I'm going to presume they know what they're doing when they run across the street literally under my tires.  Because if they've miscalculated that badly I'm not going to risk a three car pile up or head on collision trying to out swerve the squirrel.  If I can slow down I will, but otherwise squirrel population, I'm putting you on notice, I'm not going to swerve anymore--so figure that into your little calculations in your teeny tiny squirrel brains!

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