Imagine that you are driving down the road and see a turtle on the shoulder … what do you do? Well, if you are Blake Shelton or one of his small-minded ilk, you swerve to crush him (or not as he later denied it), then tweet about it and get abusive to anyone who questions you.
Actually, for most people you would either continue driving or perhaps stop to help the animal get to the side of the road in safety. But for some … it is the opportunity to leave the road to show how superior they are by mercilessly killing a harmless and helpless creature using their multi-ton pickup or SUV.
According to the report:
For his experiment Rober planted rubber snakes, turtles and tarantulas on the shoulder of the road and then observed the actions of 1,000 vehicles, MSN reported. Rober found that 6 percent of drivers are — “cold-blooded rubber-animal killers,” and are willing to put themselves in harms way just to run over an animal on the side of the road.
MSN compared Rober’s findings to a 2008 study that used the Psychopathy Checklist, which discovered that 1.2 percent of the US population were potential psychopaths.
Complex.com listed off a few more of Rober’s findings including:
•6 percent of motorists will swerve to run over an animal.
•If you ignore the tarantula, 2.8 percent swerve to kill.
•Nobody goes out of their way to run over a leaf.
•89 percent of the people who did swerve to kill drove SUVs.
The leaf proved an effective control as it indicated that the road was straight enough and the placement strategic enough that drivers weren’t hitting animals by chance.
Also of interest is the heavy amount of truck/SUV drivers who were responsible for swerving to hit the animals. Given that those categories account for less than 50% of vehicles, and that the test likely occurred in a suburban Southern California location-based on the NASA employment of the scientist, it is fair to estimate (even without seeing the data) that the 89% is a statistically significant ratio.
What does all of this mean? Well, the study is too small and unscientific to be truly significant, but reminds me of the TV show ‘What Would You Do’ in a way – how you behave when you think no one is watching says a great deal about the sort of person you are. In this case, most people were decent and even sensitive enough to help the animals. Others, however, went out of their way to kill a creature – whether because they have issues or an over-inflated sense of self is not clear … but what is clear is that they have issues.
In the comments section of one post about this, someone said:
As a biker I am surprised that the number is only 6%
And … as a runner, I have to agree with that sentiment.
Here is the fun video the author produced: