Why do squirrels come out in front of drivers so often?

When it comes to drivers who run over animals by accident, much attention is deservedly given to deer, as they are the most run-over animals nationwide, causing the most damage to cars, according to this site. Web.

But while they’re much smaller and aren’t a financial headache for drivers and insurance companies, squirrels can present a problem for drivers as well.

An estimated 41 million squirrels are killed by drivers each year, according to WorldAtlas, and below is a breakdown of why this is the case and what drivers should do when a squirrel is running ahead. them.

Why do squirrels run in front of drivers in the first place?

Squirrels regard oncoming cars as predators, and as part of their nature, furry rodents freeze and then wander off at the last minute, said Rebecca Gougis, assistant professor of biology at Illinois State University. , at the Squirrel Enthusiast website.

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In the midst of battling predators, squirrels tend to stop and start and constantly change direction, which helps avoid animals such as foxes, hawks or owls, according to Gougis.

However, that instinct backfires miserably when a car arrives, and the result is predictable and sad.

Additionally, squirrels’ depth perception and ability to sense the speed at which cars are moving are severely hampered, with their eyes placed to the side of their heads.

Is there a time of year when squirrels are most affected?

According to Squirrel Enthusiast, the fall appears to be the rush hour for squirrel deaths on the road.

Squirrels often try to collect food for the winter and look for places to store it, which is why they tend to cross the streets a lot.

Squirrel Enthusiast says squirrels are most often born in the spring and fall, they are old enough to emerge from the nest for the first time.

What if a squirrel is running in front of you while driving?

As sad as it may sound, it’s best to keep driving when a squirrel is rushing past you.

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The safety of yourself and others on the road is more important.

Trying to squeeze the brakes to avoid a squirrel could result in someone behind you ending up in the back.

Attempting to swerve could cause the car to lose control and pull it off the road, or crash into a tree or railing.

The best thing you can do is practice defensive driving, but be aware that sometimes there is little you can do.

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