- Jul 20th 2012 at 11:00AM
NASA Scientist Finds 6% Of Drivers Are Sadists?
Experiment is bad news for tarantulas, turtles and snakes
NASA scientist Mark Rober, who is known around YouTube for creating interesting science experiments on his own time, recently took a rubber snake, tarantula and turtle out to a busy road to see how many drivers would go out of their way to run them over. How many of us are given to sadistic behavior?
Mind you, Rober did not put the fake critterati in the middle of the road. He actually placed them on the shoulder. The point of Rober's experiment was to see how many drivers would literally go out of their way to kill a living thing that was posing no threat to them.
The result: 60 out of 1,000 cars that Rober monitored veered out of their lane to kill something. Yikes.
Rober, being a scientist, knew he needed a "control," so he also placed a visible leaf on the shoulder, as well.
Rober admits that the majority of the kills were of the tarantula. He suggests tarantulas need better public relations. If you take the spider out, the kill rate was 2.8% down from 6%.
Check out Rober's video above, and see if you can be honest about what group you would be in.
Speaking of roadkill, do you know what you should do if you are confronted by a deer, dog, coyote, or other critter that runs out in front of your car?
As much as we at AOL Autos love animals, we have to admit that the best course, if you can bear it, is to hold steady and hit it. Why? It is a terrible idea to suddenly swerve while traveling above 60 mph and above on a highway. There are thousands of terrible road accidents that take place every year when a car driving at high speeds veers suddenly to avoid an animal. This is how cars flip over, and wind up hitting other cars in an oncoming lane, or cause a chain reaction of car wrecks and injuries.
It is difficult to ignore the impulse to swerve to avoid an living thing in your path. But unless it is a person, you are better off trying.