Study Shows People Will Swerve To Hit Turtles In The Road

A student at Clemson University in South Carolina, interested in conservation projects, decided to create a class project to determine how to help turtles to get across the road safely. However, what Clemson student Nathan Weaver found was more than a little shocking. A certain number of drivers swerve in the road, not to miss the turtle, but to purposefully hit the slow-moving reptile.

Before we move forward, you should know that no actual turtles were harmed during this experiment. Instead, Weaver got his hands on some realistic-looking rubber turtles and placed them in the middle of a busy road, located near his college campus. In an hour, 267 cars passed by. Out of those, seven drivers literally maneuvered their cars so they could crush the poor beastie with their tires. Weaver told The AP that an additional number of vehicles tried to crush the turtle, but failed.

As a competent individual, I’m not particular certain what I find more offensive--the fact that people seriously try to hit turtles in the middle of the road, or the fact that people attempt to hit the turtles but are not capable of driving competently and miss. I think the latter’s worse, honestly, since those people are incompetent and also have evil intent. The AP is also noting that those numbers are not even remotely surprising, due to a decline in the number of box turtles and the fact that crossing the road has been linked to the decline of population numbers. A college town may not be a good place for a turtle to dwell, but Weaver still has hopes to change that.

Photo Credit: @Shutterstock/Nathan B. Dappen

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.