Kamikaze Squirrels

I’m not sure if I wrote either of those words correctly but anyway. Has anyone notice how if you are driving along and there is a squirrel on the side of the road trying to cross as you approach that they go a little, hesitate, go a little more, hesitate and if you don’t stop your vehicle completely that you would most likely end up hurting the little guys. I’ve seen a couple squirrels get hit right in front of me in my time and it seemed like there was nothing the drivers could do. Almost as if the furry guys were deeply depressed. From what I’ve seen of road kill I’m guessing that other wildlife might have the same hesitate then go for it moves but me I’ve only really seen squirrels in action (then no action). Is there a reason behind this? Do tires smell like nuts? Do squirrels have gangs that you have to beat the car to get initiated into? When will the senseless squirrel gangs see the light?! Hmm…

It does seem like some sort of gang initiation doesn’t it? Or perhaps alpha-male type showing off. :slight_smile:

But, in a word, I would say it’s…panic. Squirrels (etc.) have been around a long time. Cars have been around for less than a century. The poor little critters’ brains just aren’t wired to deal with a 3,000 lb behemoth bearing down at them at 40 mph. Hey, sometimes people freeze in their tracks too.

My wife calls them “kamikaze squirrels”, too! I agree that it’s probably panic. Having been chased down a railroad bridge by a train (“come on, the trains NEVER run down here.”), I can sympathize.

“Tell Zeno I’m willing to meet him halfway.”

My wife has always said that the best way to avoid hitting a squirrel is to aim straight for the little bugger. :smiley:

If you want to see something even more psychotic, try armadillos. They freak and jump up when they see you bearing down on them, leaving a nice mess and usually a big dent in your vehicle.

It sure does seem that the little bushytails are suicidal. Most of the fresh-killed ones I see are dead of head wounds. If it were random panic, wouldn’t I see more squished butts and shoulders?

It may also be their “escape maneuver” to get away from their natural predators.

For example, when I’ve met a deer head-on on the highway, a lot of the time the deer will jump right…then left…then right… Makes it kinda hard to avoid them, but I understand they may just be trying to fake me out, thinking my car is some big ugly predator.

Or how about the pigeons that will waddle at full waddling speed to the edge of the road, and then, once they’re safe on the sidewalk, flying? It seems to me that if I could fly, I would just do it in the first place.

Hmmm, i think it’s gang related. Yo Jimmy, you wants to join da gang? Yous gotta cross dat road, see. :smiley:

What i’m curious about is this: I’ve seen this happen twice now, and it still makes me roflmao to think about it. Has anybody else ever seen this happen?
Driving down the road behind another vehicle, you see one of the bushy tailed critters come flying out into the road, run right into one of the tires of the car in front of you head first, which in turn, sends our little hero, spinning off to the side off the road doing 40 mph. It’s funny as all hell. Looks like something out of a cartoon. This little gray body spinning around, like something stuck in a blender. Both times i’ve seen this, the little guy/girl, went straight as a board from head to tail, and spun off to the side of the road, un-hurt but i’m assuming at least a little dizzy.