Road Trip Octavia didn't want to drive, just in case she hit a jackrabbit.

...which is totally understandable. There are zillions of rabbits, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, snakes and other animals crossing the roads in rural areas and in the city, not to mention raccoons, opossums, skunks, and deer. Good drivers avoid them by driving at a safe speed, but sometimes, accidents just happen.

What Octavia DIDN'T know is that it could have been worse. In some parts of Northern and Central California, there's a tarantula migration which takes place in the fall. Hundreds of huge spiders -- lovesick males -- cross the roads in order to find mates, and sometimes... drivers can't avoid them. It's horrible to drive over them -- but I can't say that I'd want to stop and get out of my car... with millions of (harmless but creepy) tarantulas around.

Jackrabbits or tarantulas? Which is worse?

Mare didn't swerve to miss the jackrabbit, and NOT SWERVING is the safest thing you can do when you are driving. Stay on the road! Look ahead so that you can see what obstacles are ahead. Keep enough space between yourself and the car ahead of you, so that you can safely slow down if you have to. Most people want to swerve when they see an animal run into the road, but the best thing to do is to take your foot off of the gas pedal, and stay on the road. When you're behind the wheel, your job is to stay on the road and be a driver.

Visit other stops on the journey: Mare's Roads and Road Trip.

Learn more about the book Mare's War.