Thursday, 2 October 2008

Cornering - Is Your Brain Bigger Than A Sheep's?

BBC news reported a car killing five sheep after a . . .

. . . "Man was driving around a blind bend on the Auchmuir Bridge to Ballingry Road when he struck the group of sheep."

Ah, thank Heavens for that - at least it wasn't his fault!

Indeed, he was actually quite lucky; if it had been a farm truck coming the other way around that blind corner he would have only had about half the braking distance available, and a far harder object to hit than the sheep.

By coincidence, I happened to be looking at a sheep skull last night.

They have an amazingly small brain space compared, in relative terms of overall skull size, to a human skull.

But even more amazing that - with all that potential brain power - it's not the sheep that were hurtling around the corner unable to stop in the distance available - let alone half that distance to allow for oncoming vehicles - it was the supposedly 'intelligent' human.

Even if the driver was not a regular user of that road, there's normally plenty of warnings when there's livestock about:
- Triangular warning signs
- Cattle grids
- Dung on the road
- Tufts of wool stuck in barbed wire fencing

But whatever roads that driver is used to, his method of driving doesn't allow for possible - and quite likely - dangers.

In fact, that's quite like many motorcyclists, who take the sheep comparison even further, with 'herd' mentality while out group riding and abdicating responsibility for cornering speed and overtaking to be delegated to the lead rider.

Unfortunately for those riders, they often draw attention to themselves, and the farmer comes out to round them up . . . although these particular farmers usually have blue & yellow cars instead of Land Rovers ;)

So when you're out riding, try to avoid being a sheep. You have a brain and the bike doesn't - so you need to think for both of you. And if the rider behind you is a bit 'keen', try to allow for them too, then have a word - nicely - and suggest they think a bit harder.

OK, so you're not responsible for their life, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to be even a little bit responsible for their death.


1 comment:

AlistairL said...

Those are the backroads around where I grew up, and therefore did lots of hooning on them in my over-tyred 1.1 fiesta (I know, I got a car first). The whole road from Auchmuir Brig to Ballingry is through farmland - you probably pass about 5 street lamps the whole way. A fair amount is hilly enough to be just used for sheep grazing, with occaisional cattle. Sounds like it was a reasonably big car, going at some speed, and didn't hit the brakes until they had skittled the sheep.