People on the Internet have been impressed by the video of a motorcyclist who stopped their motorcycle for the sake of rescuing a kitten that was out on a busy road. This enthusiasm is very understandable because it is a very heartwarming act. However, it is also a good reminder that it can be very useful to remember what to do when spotting animals out on the road. The motorcyclist seems to have had a solid grasp on the relevant rules, but unfortunately, there are other kind-hearted individuals who have been known to make serious mistakes in similar incidents, thus resulting in unpleasant consequences for them as well as other motorists sharing the road with them. Here are some of the most important things that motorists should keep in mind when they see an animal out on the road:
Prioritize Human Well-being Over Animal Well-being
Under ideal circumstances, motorists can make choices that will protect the well-being of both humans and animals. Unfortunately, there will be times when they have to choose between one and the other. When that happens, their choice should be simple and straightforward because they are obligated to choose the well-being of humans over the well-being of animals. This means their own well-being. Furthermore, this means the well-being of other motorists who might be sharing the road with them.
Are There Vehicles Behind You?
The single most important question that motorists should ask themselves when they see an animal out on the road is whether there are any vehicles behind them. This is critical because the presence of vehicles behind them means that they will have to take their fellow motorists into consideration. In contrast, if there are no vehicles, motorists have more options when it comes to how they choose to react to whatever it is that they have spotted. For instance, if a motorist has nothing behind them, they can stop rather than continue on towards the animal because there is no chance of them getting rear-ended by their fellow motorist behind them. Furthermore, if a motorist has no other motorists around them, they can go around the animal as well. Unfortunately, when motorists are sharing the road with other motorists, their options in this regard are much more limited.
A French biker saving a kitten was the video I needed today. https://t.co/5JX1kZ5Dtg
— SeanKentComedy (@seankent) September 3, 2019
How Big Is the Animal?
Driving into big animals is much more dangerous than driving into smaller animals. After all, if a motorist drives into either a deer or something even bigger, there is a chance that said animal will go through their windshield. Something that could have very unpleasant consequences for them as well as their passengers. Meanwhile, if a motorist drives into something that is closer to the size of a squirrel, well, suffice to say that while the prospect is both unfortunate and unpleasant, it won’t do major damage to the vehicle and the vehicle’s occupants. As such, when a motorist sees a big animal while there are other motorists around them, they might not have a choice but to swerve while taking steps to minimize the force of the collision. For example, they should brake in a straight line while moving towards the animal to reduce their speed before easing up at the last minute if they don’t have an anti-lock braking system. Likewise, when they swerve, they should swerve towards the butt end of the animal in case it is still crossing.
Don’t Assume that You Have to Swerve
Meanwhile, when it comes to small animals, motorists shouldn’t assume that they have to swerve if they want to avoid hitting them. This is because motorists have a huge blind area around their vehicle, meaning that they tend not to have a very good idea about whether small animals are actually in danger of being run over by their wheels or not. Even worse, such incidents tend to leave motorists with very little time in which to choose, which aren’t exactly the kind of circumstances that make for sound and well-thought-out choices. As a result, it isn’t unknown for motorists to swerve with disastrous consequences when the small animal that they have spotted were never under threat in the first place.
Finally, motorists have the option of pulling over if they want to get out of their vehicle for the purpose of helping an animal that they have spotted out on the road. Of course, they shouldn’t do so unless they can be sure of pulling over safely, which is by no means guaranteed. In fact, if motorists pull over without having thought everything through, it isn’t unknown for them to get involved in car accidents. Something that means that they are adding to a problematic situation rather than helping out. Ultimately, if motorists can’t pull over safely, it is best for them to move on before contacting the relevant authorities to see if they can help out once the situation permits that sort of thing.
On a final note, motorists who are concerned about driving into animals can minimize the chances of such occurrences by practicing various prevention methods. For example, driving at a slower speed will provide motorists with more time to pick up on unusual sights, which in turn, will provide them with more time in which to figure out what is happening, make a considered choice, and then implement it to the best of their capabilities. This is particularly important when motorists have diminished visibility whether because of the onset of night or some other factor altogether. Likewise, it can be very useful to consider the circumstances under which animals are likeliest to appear. For instance, wildlife signs are posted in places where wildlife abound, thus giving motorists a warning that they need to be extra careful while driving through the area. Furthermore, dawn and dusk are common times for wildlife to move around, while the spring and fall seasons are also popular with them as well.