Video of a family of ducks crossing a busy Minnesota highway has gone viral over the past few days. But experts say the drivers trying to save the animals actually were doing the wrong thing.

First, here's a portion of the video, captured by state DOT cameras along I-35W in Minnesota:

You'll notice a whole lot of brake slamming and swerving to try to avoid hitting the ducks. Officials say that is extremely dangerous and if you're in a similar situation you should, as bad as it sounds, keep right on going.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune talked to the experts:

The patrol advises drivers to keep their eyes on the horizon to avoid debris or animals. But if there isn’t time or space available to swerve, then it becomes “the value of a person versus the value of an animal or wildlife,” said Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Tiffani Nielson. “A person getting injured outweighs the value of the ducks.”

“The fact that it happened during a time of high-traffic volume, it was incredible they made it across,” said Carrol Henderson, nongame wildlife program supervisor for the Minnesota DNR. “But I would have to agree with the State Patrol that braking for ducks and swerving in a situation like that places lots of drivers at risk.

In fact, Nielsen says a driver who stopped or swerved to avoid any animal on the highway potentially could face a criminal charge if it resulted in a crash involving a serious or fatal injury.

I've hit a raccoon or two in my time behind the wheel. It's not pleasant, to be sure, but the alternative could have put me or others at risk. Trust the experts on this one.

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