Roadkill - middle or side of the road?

I often see dead deer lyng on the side of the road, either the left side or the right. But never in the middle. Why is this?

These deer are obviously victims of car impact, and did not die on the side of the road by natural causes. I would imagine that when a car hits a deer, it would tend to push the deer in the same direction that the car was going, ie, forwards. If the deer was moving quickly at time of impact, then it would be thrown to the front left or front right.

What I find odd is that the deer is totally off the road, but only by a margin of a couple of feet. Let’s suppose that the deer was his by a car in the rightmost lane, and got pushed off to the right side of the road. Okay. But now suppose that same deer had entered the roadway from the other direction. Wouldn’t it have ended up in the roadway, in the second lane from the right?

But that never happens. In a road of any width, the deer always ends up in the left side, or the right side, but never in the road itself. Why?

I can’t believe that the driver who hit it would drag it to the side, as a gesture of good manners towards other drivers. The deer is probably still alive, and he wants to get out of there.

I can’t believe that the local police would move this traffic obstruction out of the way, without getting it off the highway entirely.

I can’t believe that the deer, before collapsing, chose to be a good citizen and get out of traffic’s way.

Any other guesses?

Think of the car as a pool cue. Think of the deer as the cue ball. Unless you hit the cueball dead center, it is no going to be propelled straight ahead. I doubt very many deer are hit dead center.

You may be underestimating the distance that the deer carcass travels after being hit. I’m lousy at physics but I’m guessing that when a 60mph car weighing a couple tons hits a stationary animal that only weighs a couple hundred pounds, the animal is going to come to rest several hundred feet from the point of collision. Even a slight angle of trajectory is going to put the carcass off the road at that distance.

Papabear - Thanks, I had figured that the ones on the side of the road were the only ones that got hit. You are pointing out that an close to zero are thrown straight ahead, and I am seeing the few who go off to the sides a bit, and that even more go off at other angles and are not noticed by drivers such as me. Ok. Thanks

I have seen a couple if deer in the road. I have subsequently stopped and pulled them over to the shoulder to prevent possible accidents later. I believe that, if you hit something and then drive on leaving it in the road, you can be held liable for any accidents it causes.

I once hit a small deer. It was apparently on the side of a curve and jumped to avoid being struck but jumped into the road. I was going about 45mph and did not see the deer until about half a secong before impact. The deer was cut in half. The haunches ended up on the shoulder while the front half ended up in the middle of the lane. I stopped and pulled the gory thing off the road. Then while I was inspecting the damage to my car a policeman arrived. He told me that technically I was guilty of hunting a deer with an unapproved weapon (my car). Also, he described some rules as to what was to be done with the deer. In the end he took the front (he wanted the ribs, I wanted the tenderloin) and I took the back. He gave me the phone number of a good butcher. This was against the rules he had quoted to me but we did it anyway.

I don’t remember what the exact rules were but they probably vary from state to state.

The butcher, by the way, wanted a pretty big hunk of money but eventually I got the tenderloins and he got the rest. No money was exchanged.

If men had wings,
and bore black feathers,
few of them would be clever enough to be crows.

  • Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

I assume most people attemp to avoid the deer, thus, steer to the side and hit it like a pool ball, also, more people hit the deer later, so eventually, its going to be on the side.

Jay Leno recently talked about how in Tenn. you can collect animals off the road and eat them if you want and its legal. Might be a bit gritty from the dirt.

Anyone notice if you hit a deer it makes quite a dent?

I’m not so sure that most drivers wouldn’t move a deer out of the road to prevent accidents. Not only would the deer (assuming that it hadn’t been knocked to the side of the road) be in the way of other drivers, but it’s also fairly likely to still be in the way of the driver who hit it.

“It is more from carelessness about the truth than from intentional lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.”
-Samuel Johnson

Actually, I have noticed that small animals do tend to remain in the middle of the road. I see a lot of cats, armadillos, possums etc. on the way in to town. I think this is because the wheels hit them, squashing them in place. The larger animals evidently are hit by the bumpers and therefore bounce as papabear describes.

I personally would make sure that deer was off the road, also putting it out of it’s misery if alive and suffering. Thankfully I have never hit one and I have spent a lot of time driving in prime deer areas. In MN it is legal to keep the animal with the permission of the local conservation officer.

They have to move the deer to the side of the road to hook up the tow truck to your car after you’ve hit the deer.

Don’t take life so serious. It ain’t nohow permanent