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Swerve for dogs on the road?


do you swerve

  1. yes

    31 vote(s)
    70.5%
  2. no

    13 vote(s)
    29.5%
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  1. or any animal?

    If I see an animal in the road, I never SWERVE. Swerving leads to losing control potentially and I'd rather take my chances going head on with a dog/cat, or even larger animal like a deer, rather than potentially rolling my vehicle. I do reduce my speed.... but if I realize I can't stop, and I'm going to hit them... straight on is better than nothing.


    This is risk reward choice for me. The potential reward for swerving and missing the animal does not outweigh the potential risk associated with swerving.

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  2. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    i would of course... do so with some quick evaluation of dangers and hazards.

    i have been in this situations before....

    sometimes I swerve.. sometimes I hope to drive over (straddle)... sometimes its got to be...



    side note.. what with all these questions ???
  3. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday VIP Member

    Do you have some kind of vendetta against animals? This is your what # thread?

    Added: Have you had bad past experiences with pets? Perhaps you should get your own dog... or perhaps not for the sake of the dog.
  4. yeah, like you always have time. You may THINK you have your 3000# vehicle under control, but you don't



    my aunt one time sweved to miss a dog.... she lost control and stuck the car in a ditch (about 3 feet deep) She did this with my (then) 2 y.o. cousin strapped in a car seat and the 4 y.o. cousin seatbelted in.

    I was about 12 y.o., but I remember my uncle went APESHIT ON HER (after he determined everyone was ok) Minor damage to the car but he went nuts saying "you risked BOTH YOUR KID'S safety to save a MOTHER FUC*** DOG?!?!?!?!" I remember it clear as day.... My aunt started hem-hawing some inconsequential excuse just to try and save some face, but eventually realized my uncle was right.

    I had an old band director from highschool die in a few years ago over the same thing. Coming home from a gig he would do during summer times, he was on a long road in the rural part of town (notorious for deer). A deer jumped out and he swerved left onto the shoulder of the road.... he then overcorrected and rolled the truck 6 times, partially ejecting him and rolling with him hanging halfway out the window. Killed him. Ironically, he also still hit the deer and it had to be put down.

    I bet he thought he had it under control right up until the point that he rolled it. Vehicles are designed to protect you from head on, even directly from the side. They are not so effective protecting you during rolls
  5. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands VIP Member

    Buy comprehensive insurance.... You don't have to swerve for anything:D

    I have totaled 3 vehicles hitting animals. I consider myself a VERY competent driver (I have a class A CDL) but would never swerve in the name of saving an animal. If you hit a dog in the road, the owner of the dog is at fault, and can legally be prosecuted to pay for the damages. While it may sound unkind, that is the law (at least here in NY). There are leash laws for a reason, least of all the fact that they could get hit... What if it wandered off the property and bit someone? I am a dog lover, but have the firm belief that they need to be trained or contained.
    NYCHitman1 likes this.
  6. Hrethgir

    Hrethgir Well-Known Member

    IF I can safely miss the animal, I will. If I can't, that sucks. I'm a decent driver with some competive experience under my belt (3 season of rally-cross), so I'm pretty good at controlling the car in adverse situations, but on the other hand, I'm not going to try to throw it into a sideways 4-wheel drift into the opposite lane to miss the animal either. I like animals (I have 3 cats and volunteer 2 hours a week for the Humane Society), but I'm not going to risk myself or someone else to save an animal.

    And yeah, what is with all your animal threads here all of a sudden? Did you recently get raped by your neighbors dog or something? Seems you want to kill and eat everything all of a sudden. Very odd....
    ElasticNinja likes this.
  7. faber78

    faber78 Guest

    just my opinion;
    never swerve, slow down if you can, hit it if you cant help it.

    ive driven since i was 14 (legally) and im 32 now accident free. (thank God).
    ive even run over a little girls puppy in the road right in front of her, was terrible but beats a roll over.
    i drove a flatbed semi over the road for two years.

    think of two pennys by each of your tires, they represent traction.
    if you brake hard then that takes away a penny each from your front tires leaving only one penny at each front tire for traction.
    if you swerve that takes away a penny each from the front tires for the traction to turn that fast.
    if you do both at the same time, guess what? you just ran out of traction.

    top that putting a something thousand pound vehicle into an unexpected, unprepared for swerve shifts weight to fast and asks for a roll over or worse (leaving the road or staying on).
    --------------------------
    on a different note for rigs;

    (involving head ons and not animals).

    when i drove a rig (think 80,000 lbs.) they trained us that if someone came into your lane and you couldnt stop, do not swerve, hit them.
    sounds bad but if your pulling a trailer with 50,000 lbs. of cargo chained to it its safer for the other people around you not to swerve and throw that trailer or cargo around the roadway.

    now of course in this case we're talking about a rig vs. a car/truck.
    if i were driving a car/truck i probably would very seriously considering heading off the right side of the road to avoid a head on with another driver.
    but i wouldnt go left, the chances are to high of the other driver realizing their mistake and coming back into their lane and still having a head on.
    -------------------
    anyway, in my opinion; make animal meat.
  8. faber78

    faber78 Guest

    to put this simply;
    if you are a swerver; you value the animals life more then your own or other drivers around you.
    (in my opinion).
  9. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday VIP Member

    I swerve if I'm able to and based on extremely quick judgments. Obviously, I'm not going to swerve so much that I roll over and risk dying or swerve into another lane and hit an incoming car, which can definitely get me and the others killed. If I CAN swerve, then why not? It would save the life of a creature.

    I value the lives of animals but not more than my own or any other driver around me. It's incorrect to judge that way.

    Side note: What would happen if a dog that one loves is in the street? Would one act differently? If you have never loved a dog, then you can't understand.
    MX_1 likes this.
  10. that's probably how my dead band-director justified it too.

    I don't think you value it more, rather, you cross the line of negligence when you THINK you can make a determine the safety of said manuever in a split second.

    I have had pets, loved them as pets (did not equate them to a baby or anything) but if I'm in my banddirector or aunt's position.... I would try to stop (decelerate or brake) and drive straight. I had a big dog too.

    I will swerve for kids or humans, not animals.
  11. and beats swerving and running her over because in the split second you have to decide, you don't see her on the side of the road.


    makes sense to me
  12. gallandof

    gallandof Well-Known Member

    im going to swerve I feel the animal me and any one around me is equal. Now im not talking handbrake flick the car sideways swerve. Im talking slow down as much as possible judge my surroundings and turn to avoid the animal. ill great a few sudden sounds to try and startle the animal.

    I dont care if I total my car by running it into a ditch I have insurance for that. if I injure myself thats my fault i take blame.
    MX_1 likes this.
  13. faber78

    faber78 Guest

    couldnt have put it better....^
  14. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday VIP Member

    Perhaps the death of your band director is an underlying cause of your exhibited dislike for animals? Also I would recommend assuming that is what your band director thought and flying with it. I'm deeply sorry for the death of your band director and your aunt. It's a tragedy that was a mistake.

    When it happens, I'll let my instincts and whatever else take control. If I find myself so shocked and surprised that I just try to slam on the brakes, then let that be. If I find myself with plenty of time (as in like seeing the animal from a distance), then I can quickly think of what to do. That is not negligence. Don't underestimate the power of the human brain. :)

    It seems to me that you tend to lack compassion for animals from your posts.
    MX_1 likes this.
  15. faber78

    faber78 Guest

    i started to write a response, but really the other guy did it perfect.
    i hope you reconsider your beliefs in your driving ablility and your ability to predict situations on the road.

    i have covered many many miles and im not speaking out my butt, this is experience talking. a lot of it.

    ive seen so many accidents that i stopped even looking after a while.
    ive seen a lot of crap on the road i dont even want to get into.
    your commute to work will be the most dangerous thing you do all week.
    please be safe out there.

    here are some things to think about that people dont do often enough (again, my opinions; i take no responsibilities).

    - signal BEFORE you change lanes. if people dont make room for you, throwing on the signal and swerving over is not the answer. signal ahead of your lane change and come over confidentially but slowly.

    -always check your blind spot. laziness causes accidents and kills motorcyclists.

    - scan your surroundings constantly. if your eyes arent moving your a lazy driver. look as far down the road as you can and back. side to side. check mirrors. if you go into a curve you should have scanned down your path around the curve as far as you can see already. looking for cars on the shoulder or whatever. your peripheral vision will cover you up close as you look down the road.

    -DO NOT be a sheep. stop staring at the bumper of the car in front of you. dont just follow them. i watch people go through our barricades all the time. one will go and the other will follow. you should know better then to think other people have common sense. use your own.

    - LEAVE MORE SPACE. you are in a moving vehicle. leave enough space to react between you and the vehicle in front of you. this one is the biggest accident causer.

    - dont play with your toys, yell at your kids, fix your hair, put on your make up, talk on the phone. driving is one of those odd tasks that requires more effort then people realize to do right, yet doesnt require much effort to do....and yet a split second of distraction and everyone is going to a funeral.

    - speeding and rushing. sorry your late. GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED SOONER. and get a load of this; i can tell you from experience that even when your driving hundreds of miles....5 mph. will not get you there that much sooner, let alone the distance the normal person is going. top that, oddly enough when your in town....sometime get in the slower lane and when the light ahead of you goes red, let off the gas and just cruize easy to the light....you'll find while everyone else is wearing their brakes and burning their gas stopping and starting fast....you are catching the light they turned green and going on by them or going much easier on your vehicle. and still getting to the same place the same time as they are, if not sooner. (i love taking it easy and passing on by the guy that blew by me in a big hurry and is sitting at the light as it goes green....lol).

    - walk around your vehicle before you drive it, kick the tires.
    yes, kick the tires. if your gonna be to lazy to check them, kicking them will give you some idea if they are low on air....you can feel a slight difference. plus walking around helps you notice lights out, things behind the vehicle, leaking fluids.

    - wear your seatbelt. (sadly, this is where i fail).

    im gonna stop now.

    if you took anything from this, take these especially;
    more space, scan with your eyes on down the road and around...., signal your intentions, slow down (you'll get there the same time- leaving early is the awnser to your tardiness), seatbelt, dont be a sheep.

    think i didnt need to say all this cause everyone already knows and so do you? think again.

    again, just my opinions. ive been wrong before. you make your own decisions and take this for what you want from it or think about it.
    330D likes this.
  16. faber78

    faber78 Guest

    if you had enough time to predict your swerve or carefully drive around....then you had enough time to stop.

    i think the question was more stated for the sudden response situation.
  17. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands VIP Member

    Good post Faber, well put. ;)
  18. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member

    I have not read this entire thread, but here is my .02:

    This is one of those questions with no definitive answer. There are a myriad of things that come together in one of these situations that should affect how you react.

    1. What kind of animal is it? If it's a squirrel, obviously you're not going to do any damage to your car if you run its tail over. If it's a deer, you risk having an animal come through your windshield, airbag deployment, fire (a friend of mine hit a deer at 60 mph, came to a stop, got out thinking everything was ok, and watched his car burn to a crisp) loss of control as a RESULT of hitting the deer due to damage, etc...

    2. What kind of car are you driving? My friend totaled his Dodge Neon hitting a deer. If you drive a truck, you probably aren't going to do that much damage when it bounces off your steel bumper. If you drive a Lotus, you are going to destroy the entire plastic front end and probably end up with a deer in your face.

    3. What are the road conditions like? Is it wet out? Is it snowy? Do you have room to swerve around safely? Are you surrounded by cars? Is there a guardrail immediately to your right, and a box-full of kittens on your left? I'd still rather swerve to avoid a dog even if I skid out if all it means is some flat spots on my tires if I have another two lanes on my right.

    4. How much time do you have to avoid it?

    5. How competent are you of a driver. I realize this, in itself, is a very subjective question, as everyone considers themselves a good driver, but I think you know what I mean. If you are an 80-year-old grandma, I would hope you wouldn't swerve for a dog (assuming your saw it at all...) because that probably wouldn't end well. Pretty sure Michael Schumacher will just go ahead and swerve since he knows he can handle his vehicle. I personally feel comfortable swerving fairly aggressively for something in my own car (not necessarily in a car I don't normally drive.) I make it a point to learn the limits of my car because I feel much more comfortable driving a vehicle when I know what it can do and how it will react.

    I could go on and on. To TRY and answer your question, however, most of the time I try and avoid hitting an animal as long as there are no other vehicles in my immediate vicinity. Partly because I feel I can do so safely, and partly because I really don't want squirrel guts in my wheel wells...

    And to add to this, anyone who I would consider a competent driver, should be able to (on a given road surface) swerve and know more or less what to expect from his vehicle. YES, I KNOW, there are other factors to consider (oil on the road, sinkholes, children in strollers and landmines) BUT if you know your car like I believe anyone who drives SHOULD know their car, you should be able to react and swerve around an unexpected obstacle and at least KNOW what your car is going to do. What I mean is, if you were taken to a big open runway, and sent down it at 60 mph and told to swerve at a random point, ignoring any other factors, on this giant empty road surface, I would hope you would be able to have a rough idea of how your vehicle would react.

    Unfortunately, by my logic, 97% of people on the road should have their driver's licenses revoked...
    ...gotta love America's stringent road tests.

    LASTLY (and most importantly) this all goes under the assumption that your reaction in the real world will be anything other than instinct. If you suck at driving, your reaction will probably be entirely wrong. If you're a competent driver, hopefully your reaction will be appropriate for the situation. My one friend once told me "I feel as though I am better prepared now. I always though you had to steer in the opposite direction of the skid, but my driving instructor taught me to steer into the skid." All I could think was, "Great. Now, rather than a clueless driver steering the wrong way and spinning out, we are going to have a "skilled" driver steer the right way, snap his car back around and be even more out of control since he really still has no clue what he is doing."
  19. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday VIP Member

    Was this lesson just for me? or for everyone? It was great, but I don't understand the intent of this. I could've written all of that out (well besides the kicking the tires... I never do that since my indicator works and I know that I'm not supposed to always trust it).

    I already do everything that you mentioned (again, aside from kicking tires) already, especially signaling and checking blind spots. The fastest I go is 5mph above the speed limit because I know that anything faster than that can get you pulled over but for the most part, you wont be if you stay within 5mph above the suggested speed limit.
  20. faber78

    faber78 Guest

    for everyone, including you....
    sort of turned into a lesson instead of a response. though spurred by my concern for your possible over security in your driving abilities and thought process as i took it from your response....that you could decide in a split second if it was safe to swerve or not....
    but for everyone. (including me).
  21. ekyle

    ekyle Well-Known Member

    I swerved for a skunk once and lost control of the vehicle. It literally almost killed me and my fiance. I wound up in a coma for 3 weeks. So no, I hit everything now. I do try to slow down though
    NYCHitman1 likes this.
  22. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands VIP Member


    I think in this day and age, people don't understand what a complicated piece of machinery a car really is. We are a service economy, and no one works on their vehicle anymore, and by default don't understand them. His point (I think;)) was to just be AWARE of your car. It could save your life, or the life of others. I can't count the number of times I have seen a car driving down the interstate at 60+ mph, with a flat, or nearly flat front tire. That scares the crap out of me, because if you don't notice or care that you have a flat, you should not even have your license. Every person who gets their license should be required to spend an afternoon riding around in a tractor trailer. It would be an eye opening experience for a lot of people.
  23. EXACTLY.... Glad you got the second chance with life.
  24. faber78

    faber78 Guest

    ^so true....
    +1^
    ------------------------------
    if everyone could sit in a semi for awhile and ride a motorcycle, man what a difference it would make....
    i dont trust anyone on the road, but i know most semi drivers and motorcyclist have a clue....and i hold them to a higher standard of expectations.

  25. nah, I couldn't stand the prick.... I became the musician I am DESPITE of him, not because of.... My buddy (who became a band director since graduation) asked me if I was going to attend the funeral with him. I laughed. There are about 50 other teachers I have had in my life that I would go to LONG before I would go to my band director's. He had also just been fired for getting pulled over with a joint in his car, they got a search warrant and searched his house and found a mother load. Tragic end to a pathetic life of banging highschool girls, doing drugs, and just being a prick to the kids who didn't do the same. But, with all that said, a lot can be learned from his pathetic demise.... one is, if you're a teacher, don't smoke pot, and if you see a deer in the road while doing 60 mph, you take it on head on.



    I simply value human life over animal life. I'm willing to bet my band director's two kids wish he just hit the damn deer head on.

    I think you overestimate your driving ability. that you can keep control of your 3000# vehicle at 60 mph on an uneven surface, and that you won't snatch the wheel when you try to come back on the road and shoot across both lanes and hit a telephone pole. And like the guy who just posted his story of almost killing him and his fiance because he thought he could control it while avoiding a skunk.
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