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. mpw

    mpw Well-Known Member

    Swerve, within my capabilities, and in accordance with the road conditions.

    Every situation is unique, to have a hard and fast rule that you don't swerve, is as dangerous as swerving regardless.

    Judgement and control makes you a good driver, not any pre-conceived plan based on the value of the various objects that might just appear in front of your vehicle.
    MX_1 likes this.
  2. the most constant thing you can count on is going straight ahead. you can not make sound decisions about road conditions, etc in the blink of an eye. If you do, it's just a matter of time before you get in a wreck.... good luck in your rollover
  3. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member

    You sound like the kind of person I do NOT want driving behind me...

    As for making sound decisions about road conditions in the blink of an eye, this is something any good driver does many times a second whenever they are behind the wheel... if you just slam on the brakes whenever something pops out in front of your car, you really haven't got a good grasp on the idea of "reacting to the situation at hand."
  4. that assumes you are a good driver.... One thing is for sure.... I have never met anyone that says "yeah, I'm not a good driver" Everyone thinks they are good, no matter how many wrecks they have been in, or how many tickets they have had.



    you would rather be in front of me than behind me.... I have never been in any wrecks, never got a ticket and I never tailgate. Plenty of reaction time and that has helped me avoid having to make those split second decisions that have cost my band director his life.


    But, I'd rather hit you straight up the ass (dang, now I DO sound like Vihzel) then to hit the shoulder of the road
  5. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member

    That was my point. If you ARE a good driver, you will be able to judge and react accordingly. People who suck at driving simply slam on the brakes and scream.

    Really? Because given the chance I will probably put my car into a ditch if it avoids rear-ending someone (assuming the ditch isn't lined with C-4...) Firstly to avoid injuring anyone other than myself, and second because if I was in a situation where I would rear-end someone, odds are I wasn't driving smartly.
  6. is that how you really picture it? Far from it... it's just simple understanding that you have the most control going straight forward, on the pavement, not heading off in a 45* angle on an uneven shoulder doing 60 mph.




    the way I look at it, the telephone pole I hit, the tree I wrap my bumper around has no 'give', the back of your car does.... I also figure you are protected by your vehicle, unlike the little kid on the side of the road I didn't see and ran over.

    I don't care who you think you are, you can't control your car like you think you can when you swerve off the road to avoid an animal who very rarely, gives you warning of his impending actions.


    I frequently travel the road my band director died on. I periodically see deer on the side of the road. I try to be on the look out for them because of all the deer. I've even seen those on the side of the road. I slow down, sometimes 30 mph, make sure both hands are on the wheel, and foot over the brake... But I'm going straight ahead. I don't flash my lights, or honk, or do anything like that, I just make sure I'm as prepared as I can.


    Funny story about my uncle and aunt. I was riding with that uncle, my brother and his gf and we drove by where my aunt did that, so we had my uncle tell the story to my brother's g/f who wasn't around to hear the story prior. My brother was driving and I asked everyone at once "if an animal comes out, do you swerve or hit it head on. Brother and uncle said "HIT IT" (my brother actually said "hit it like Dale earnhart at 230mph but I digress, lol) his g/f said "swerve" that's when they told her the story. But just as soon as they got done telling her the story, an oppossum shot out from the side and shot across the road. My brother ran the bastard over and his g/f started crying and yelling at him. He told her to STFU and asked if she heard any of the story they just told her. I mean, we had JUST got done with the story when it happened.


    But, she's like most on here, they think they have everything under control and believe animals have souls based on their cuteness levels :rolleyes:
  7. Chidori602

    Chidori602 Well-Known Member

    i would swerve for a dog (preferably a golden retriever), but not for a cat. they have 9 lives already.
  8. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member

    The problem is you seem to be under the impression that when I say "judge the situation" that I mean "ALWAYS SWERVE OFF THE ROAD." What I mean to say is that you should not have this pre-concieved notion of not swerving. Treat the animal as you would any other object. Sure, you might not swerve for a small deer, but if you don't swerve for a large bear, just because it is an animal, well then pray the Medivac isn't too far off....


    Again, you seem to be making your statements based on pre-conceived notions of the conditions for this hypothetical crash. Who's to say that there aren't just two empty lanes on your right? Or just some grass. Or maybe just a guardrail you can scrape up against? I'm not advocating that you should always assume you see everything, but a good driver should have a fairly good grasp of what is around them at all times. More than once I have had people move over onto me aggressively on the road. Without even thinking I instinctively swerved into the lane on my other side. I never even checked my blind spot when I swerved. Why? Because given the situation, I did not have time. However, I knew at the time that there was a vehicle tailgating me and nobody on that side because I was aware of my surroundings. Frankly, though, I'd still rather hit a telephone pole (many of which, by the way, are designed to break away) than rear-end someone and potentially injure people.

    You also seem to be under the impression that this swerve has to be a violent maneuver. I drive a Subaru Outback. It's not a Lotus, but it can handle a fairly severe swerve without getting too bent out of shape. This is because A. I have decent tires on the thing, B. I have sport struts, and C. I've done enough swerving in my car to know just how much I CAN swerve without things going horribly wrong. This isn't because I am a super-awesome-best-in-the-world driver. This is merely because I have a decent grasp of basic physics and some experience of extreme maneuvers in my car.


    Lol, try driving through NJ. It's terrifying. We have something like 3 deer per square foot... and that's almost not an exaggeration. It's stupid.


    *sigh*

    Nobody on here claims to have everything under control. But many people on here value an animal's life enough that they are willing to try and avoid squishing them as long as it does not require an insane maneuver.

    I should mention that I have run over two rabbits and hit a deer with my car. One rabbit came out of the side so fast and so last-minute that I barely had time to react before I heard "THUMP! THUMP!" The second one also lept out in front of me - a bit further ahead - but at the time the road was wet and I couldn't do much other than swerve gently to the right - and the rabbit decided to go back to the right as well and... "THUMP! THUMP!"

    The deer I hit was at night. It came out of a bush on the right of my car at full tilt JUST ahead of me. I was on a narrow road with trees/bushes/jungle on both sides and I simply didn't have any room to swerve so I simply laid on the brakes and managed to clip it with my left front corner (no damage to the car even though I hit it at like 30 mph.)

    I have also avoided running over countless other animals with a quick swerve - swerves that never even produced a chirp from the tires - which means I was not at the limit of what the vehicle could handle.
  9. gallandof

    gallandof Well-Known Member

    One thing that I feel any driver who thinks they are good/competant in the least bit should do, is that a track course with your daily driver. and take one of those devensive driving courses. Basically get as much experience as possible in thier car they are going to own in as many extreme conditions as possible. I drive a Front wheel drive Cobalt SS, but I still take it up to the lakes every winter and do a few ice races not for the fun but so I can get used to my car in extreme conditions, and since tons of things will change from year to year I do it every year.

    During the summer Ill take my car to the strips, and tracks for fun, then maybe the next week ill go with my street tires, again to get a feel for how my car is handling in potentially dangerous ROAD conditions.

    Now i'm not a good drive by any means I leave that to the people who drive for a career, I would say im above average but for me its a hobby and a means to get from point A to point B, I do most if not all maintenence and repairs on my car so I can learn it as well as know whats actually done.


    with that said. I am still going to "swerve" to avoid an animal. You can throw all these situations at me, but end of the day I am still going to drive the way I do and am comfortable doing so.
  10. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member

    You are the first person I've ever heard say this. I have always believed that whenever someone purchased a new car, they should be required to spend an hour or two on an autocross track practicing maneuvers to learn the limits of their vehicle. I do this whenever I drive a rental car - a quick swerve on the road when nobody is around and a quick panic stop. Same is true on snow. Anytime you go out on snow-covered roads, you should have a little bit of "fun" just to get used to how your car reacts in this kind of snow with your tires at their current wear level. This is defensive driving at the most basic level.
  11. gallandof

    gallandof Well-Known Member

    I think its finland (not 100% on that) that has a very intense and strict driving test, wet skid pads, slalom etc.
  12. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member

    Yup! Was featured in a Top Gear episode. Finland knows how to stay alive.
  13. gallandof

    gallandof Well-Known Member


    yup thats where I saw it.

    /end thread hijack, now back to our regularly scheduled program
  14. tommy_ed

    tommy_ed Well-Known Member

    I don't swerve to miss animals. I will however move around them when the situation sees fit. In other words, sometimes it would be more dangerous to slam on your brakes or just hit an animal rather than cut to the left a bit and avoid it.


    i know plenty of people who admit they are bad drivers


    WOW. That was rude, even for you.

    My thread about music players gets moved to "Incredible support and troubleshooting", but that post hasn't been edited for offensive material. The mods have been a touch disappointing lately.
  15. Hrethgir

    Hrethgir Well-Known Member

    You shouldn't HAVE to make decisions about road conditions and traffic and everything in a split second, you should be paying attention and already know all that stuff before anything happens. Scan your mirrors, know what the road you are on is like, know if there is a shoulder to drive onto, or where the nearest emergency exit from where you are is so you can get to it in an emergency. I've driven professionally for a few years, did a little amatuer off-road racing (rally-cross) and ride a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle really makes you pay more attention to other drivers and conditions, because you HAVE to. ALWAYS make sure you have an out if you need it. If you know what you are going to do in an emergency situation, that removes the panic response.

    I've been driving for 18 years and riding a motorcycle for 5. I had one speeding ticket 16 years ago, and the only real accident I've been was one where the people behind me didn't leave enough space and rear ended me. Traffic in front of me stopped quickly, and I was able to stop safely. The car behind me was able to just barely stop before hitting me, but then got pushed into the back of my car when the person behind him slammed into him.
  16. Tangent

    Tangent Well-Known Member

    If you have to have a blanket "don't swerve because otherwise I'll lose control" policy, you are just another member of the inadequately-trained driving public. If you can manage it without putting your car in a ditch, get yourself to a car-control clinic like has already been suggested, or at the very least find an empty parking lot to practice in.

    If you're paying attention to your surroundings and aren't lounging with just one hand resting on the wheel you should easily be able to make very fast decisions about if a swerve is even called for, if it can be safely done, which direction it should be, and what action might need to be taken after the swerve. Take the time to find out just what your car can do without losing traction, what happens when it does lose traction, and what you need to do to regain it. If you don't feel safe doing anything but driving straight ahead I can only hope that the inevitable accident you get into involves only you and an inanimate object, not another car or pedestrian you couldn't wouldn't avoid because you were too frightened of turning your steering wheel with any vigor.

    Going ahead and just plowing straight into anything in your path because you're afraid that your car has the rollover stability of a high chair is a dangerous habit to get into. One day that dog, rabbit, or deer you see out of the corner or your eye that you've already decided to go ahead and run down lest you tip over is going to be an inattentive child running after a ball.

    My idea of control is being able to head of in 45* angles on uneven shoulders while still maintaining control over where I'm going. Sounds like your idea of "control" matches the cause of many airplane fatalities. The technical term is "CFIT", or Controlled Flight Into Terrain. By insisting on going straight ahead vs venturing into more unstable terrain/vehicle attitudes, all you're doing is controlling yourself right into the situations "control" is supposed to let you avoid.
    MX_1, tommy_ed and Hrethgir like this.
  17. Hrethgir

    Hrethgir Well-Known Member

    /\ This is what I'm trying to say, he just said it better! Know your car, know the conditions around you at all times, and know how to control your car, and making a snap decision won't cause a panic.
  18. I know my car... it handles taking a deer head on MUCH better than it handles a telephone pole or flipping multiple times.


    I know my car... it handles rear-ending you MUCH better than it handles a telephone pole or flipping multiple times.


    YOu are completely ignorant if you think you can ALWAYs prevent a rollover. It's what my band-director thought... that he could control it.

    It's what the girl last summer who tried to avoid a dog thought right before she flipped her car killing herself instantly and leaving her best friend in a vegatative state

    it's what my aunt thought right before she stuck her car in the ditch with her 2 infant sons while avoiding a dog.

    Insurance fixes my car, your car. We are not going to die with me going straight ahead.

    However, I could die if, while trying to avoid giving you whiplash, or saving a soul-less animal's life. It could kill everyone in the vehicle with me.

    no chance of dieing and killing a deer or dog or rearending you vs a chance to die taking unsafe, evasive manuevers. hmmmmm, wonder which one I take
  19. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands VIP Member

    Yeah, I just reread my earlier post and realized it reads like I wouldn't even try to avoid an animal. Not true at all. I would do everything possible WITHOUT endangering myself or others so as NOT to hit the animal in question. The three times I did hit deer and total my cars, I was dive bombed from the side of the road. Twice they jumped from hills next to the road, and I never saw anything until my headlights were blown out. The other was during a snowstorm, and I actually wasn't driving. My friend, who was giving me a ride home, swerved sharply with a couple inches of snow on the road, lost control, spun out and went cruising into the ditch backwards at 50 mph. THAT is why I don't do anything drastic to miss animals....:)
  20. gallandof

    gallandof Well-Known Member

  21. Stang70Fastback

    Stang70Fastback Well-Known Member

    Your way of thinking truly terrifies me.

    Let me ask you this: What kind of a car do you drive?
  22. Tangent

    Tangent Well-Known Member

    You and your car both handle "none of the above" or a skid much better than either of your options, so start paying more attention to what's around you and learn how to handle a car better.


    And you are completely ignorant if you think every maneuver results in a rollover or slamming into a ditch. Using the results of inexperienced drivers as an excuse to not even attempt the thing that they screwed up is poor justification at best. Before you even bring up your band director or aunt's years of driving, that doesn't matter. There are many people with 40 years of driving under their belts that are completely and utterly inexperienced in actual car control. These are the driver that find themselves choosing between running into things or swerving wildly and then having no idea how to recover.

    Are you sure? What if you're cruising along at a legal 55 mph and an inattentive driver pulls out of a driveway right into your path? Your "no swerving -ever" policy will likely kill them and probably seriously injure you and any passengers. A driver with decent car-control skills and situational awareness would know where they could go to minimize damage or even avoid it completely.

    Only if you are not aware of your surroundings and/or have no car-control skills.

    Driving isn't a True/False test, there are far more options than that; most of them much better. On top of that, if you are in a position to possibly rear-end my car, you were following too close. The option I've taken personally many times over my driving career is: Swerve in the direction I know there are no obstacles and go on with my day.
  23. tommy_ed

    tommy_ed Well-Known Member

    you think rear ending someone is better than hitting a telephone pole? that's just ignorant


    hmm. soooo if someone was on your side of the road coming at you head on, you would just plow right through them? sometimes swerving would be safer than just hitting something. Different circumstances call for different actions.

    I hope you're not being serious, for the sake of all drivers who share the roads with you
  24. byteware

    byteware Well-Known Member

    I live in the country. My average off interstate speed is 55. I swerve to miss animals on a nearly daily basis.

    I've never had an accident.

    I've never hit anything big enough to damage my vehicle.

    It's all about situational awareness.
  25. ekyle

    ekyle Well-Known Member

    It really depends on the person, vehicle, conditions, and situation.
    gallandof and tommy_ed like this.
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