A random guy shares his scary experience on a social networking site. One day before daylight, he was driving in rural Utah. Suddenly a rabbit ran straight toward his car. He with his kids in the car quickly swerved to avoid the rabbit. Surprisingly, this happened again and again as they were moving forward.
Now, you might be wondering, why do rabbits run in front of cars? The main reason is rabbits assume an approaching car as a large predator coming with burning eyes and grabbing them with huge teeth at the last moment. In order to sprint away from the car, they run in front of it. During the nighttime, car headlights hinder their eyesight, confusing them whether they stop to look or zigzag.
By the way, this doesn’t mean you cannot take your rabbit outside. You have to prevent your bunny from running out into the street. In this article, we’re going to talk about all what to do to safeguard your feathered friend.
Read Also: Why Do Rabbits Jump Over Each Other? [Details here]
Which Means of Defense Do Rabbits Rely On?
Rabbits primarily rely on one means of defense: running. When a predator approaches, their speedy legs allow them to sprint away. Although they have strong teeth and back legs that can kick quite hard, their first instinct is to get away from the predator.
When it comes to cars, rabbits always apply the optimal evolutionary strategy, which is evading large, fast-approaching predators. As they consider cars as large predators, their survival strategy will be running instead of biting or kicking.
Why Do Rabbits Freeze When Caught In Headlights?
When rabbits are caught in headlights, they freeze because they cannot clearly see approaching objects or people in the distance. So, when a car moves down the street, rabbits assume it as a large predator, like a fox, a raccoon, or maybe a bird coming after them. That signals that they have to run.
You might have thought that rabbits feel uncomfortable seeing anything because they have eyes on either side of their head. But, the reality is such eye placement allows them to detect predators in different directions. In fact, rabbits can move their eyes almost 360 degrees.
Can a Rabbit Survive if They Run in Front of a Car?
Whether a rabbit survives or not on the road depends on several factors, such as the speed of the car at that moment, type of the car, and the place of the impact. The more quickly the car goes over, the harder it may strike your bunny.
First of all, if the driver drives the car at about 25 mph (typical speed for a residential road), he/she can swerve the rabbit. On the other hand, if the car moves on highways at around 30 to 40 mph, there will be less chance of survival for the rabbit.
Secondly, cars that sit lower to the ground have a better chance of killing your rabbit because such a car will almost surely hit your beloved bunny at the front bumper. However, cars that sit higher may not harm your rabbit because it can slip under the car unscathed.
Finally, if the driver doesn’t notice your rabbit, and the car tires go right over it, you will surely lose it. But, if the driver swerved at the last moment, your bunny is likely to survive. Once a car hits your beloved rabbit, immediately take it to a vet.
How Can You Keep Your Rabbit from Running Across the Street?
In this section, we’re going to talk about how to safeguard your rabbit from running across the street.
#1. Train Your Rabbit
Do you know rabbits have an excellent sense of hearing? If you look at their big ears, you will understand why they have an excellent sense of hearing. Consequently, you should train your rabbit with voice commands, like when to stop and when to move.
Teach it all commands by saying its name. This works better. If you haven’t taught it that much yet, you definitely know where to start from. Once you train your bunny well enough, it will stop by hearing your shouts. And you can protect it from a car accident.
#2. Keep An Eye on Your Rabbit Outside
When you take your rabbit outside, don’t turn around, don’t let yourself get distracted, and don’t look at your cellphone. Keep a sharp eye on it all the time. Once your bunny tries to run, use the voice commands you have already taught it.
If it doesn’t listen to your commands, put it back up further on the lawn. You have to move slowly but steadily. As soon as you run to grab your bunny, it could get frightened and go into the street even faster.
#3. Pick Your Rabbit While Trying to Run in the Street
If your rabbit tries to run in the street, approach it and pick it up in the same manner you always follow. Place one hand beneath its chest and then cradle its back as you lift it from the air. Try to hold its body to yours.
Keep its feet tucked against you. Otherwise, it will kick you or try to scramble out of your grip. Get yourself with your bunny away from the street. Now, you can let it run or bring it back inside your house.
#4. Move Your Outdoor Activities to the Backyard
Another effective way to protect your bunny is moving your outdoor activities to the backyard instead of the front yard along the street. In the backyard, there is no traffic, and your bunny will be safe from any accident caused by vehicles.
In order to safeguard your rabbit, build a fence so that it cannot go to the front yard. The fence will set up the rabbit’s playing area. Make sure to erect tall enough fences. Otherwise, your rabbit will climb or jump over.
In essence, rabbits cannot clearly see what’s coming from far away. That’s why they misinterpret approaching cars as predators. Once cars are close to them, they run into the street to escape. Proper training can hinder them from running in front of cars.
Compared to less populated areas, high traffic areas like New York City report a less amount of roadkills every year. In London, some rope bridges have been installed over the busiest roads so that rabbits can use the bridges to cross the streets.
By the way, we hope you have learned a lot about why rabbits run in front of cars. If you have ever experienced such an incident, share it with us below in the comment section. Be connected with us on Twitter, and Pinterest.