Another over the top driving safety advert
A quick warning before you watch the video in this entry, it is quite graphic so please view it at your own risk.
Chances are it’s the same in a lot of countries worldwide, but here in the United Kingdom we have a lot of videos attempting to promote road safety which do so in a very over-the-top manner that implies that drivers on the road are… a little dense. In some cases they are of course, but while you don’t have to look far to read about stories of idiocy on the road incidents like that are, as far as I know, few and far between.
The latest video in the long line of making drivers out to look stupid involves three young girls in a car driving at speed – while the driver is texting some lad about one of her passengers liking him. What immediately bothers me is that her friends make no attempt to say something like “KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE FUCKING ROAD!” at any point, even when it’s fairly obvious that the car they’re in is slowly veering into the path of oncoming traffic.
Of course the inevitable happens and our heroes slam head first into another car. In slow motion we see the driver being largely protected by her airbag, but her front passenger isn’t so lucky as she has her facial features rearranged by the dashboard and the dozy cow in the back who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt gets thrown about all over the place, ultimately putting her own head through the window. Lots of carnage, yum.
Now, rewind for a second to the point where the Ford Ka they’re driving starts crossing the central white line in the road. There is a several second window of opportunity for the driver they ultimately smash into to get the hell out of the way, in fact even a long blast on the horn would have been enough to get the texting driver to move over thus avoiding the crash altogether. The advert employs the use of shock tactics as you might have noticed to get the point across which is something I understand, but sacrificing the realistic scenario of the girls slowly moving to the wrong side of the road and then the oncoming driver using his horn to get them to move back over for what we saw does make not only the girls look stupid but also the driver they crashed into (and killed) as well. In a real life situation a crash would have easily been avoided regardless of three teenagers in a Ford Ka being a bit dippy in the first place. You’ll notice that several seconds after the crash the girls are hit by another car as well, which is the one that kills the front seat passenger. Again, that driver would have seen the beginning of the accident from several hundred yards away and had plenty of time to react if this was a real situation.
All in all this short film gets its intended message across – don’t be a twat and text while driving. The way that message implies that most drivers are idiots annoys me though, here’s how I would have done the advert:
Three girls are in a car, the driver sending a text about one girl liking a young man called James. Her two passenger friends are politely asking her to do that when they’ve reached their destination because it’s dangerous to use your phone while on the road, but meanwhile the car is gradually crossing the central divide prompting the alert driver coming the other way to slow down and use his horn to get the girls’ attention. The texting driver realises the danger just in time and manages to swerve, narrowly avoiding a fatal accident. She looks as white as a ghost while her friends give her a bollocking, the camera slowly focusing on her face as the yelling slowly dies down to be replaced by her beating heart and the “Think!” slogan they put on the end of these adverts.
Doing it that way may not have the intended shock value that these adverts rely on to get the point across, but at least it wouldn’t make drivers look moronic and the texting driver certainly wouldn’t use her phone in the car again after a near-death experience. Sure, if the TV ad was real she won’t now that she’s killed her two friends plus two other rather idiotic drivers, but it seems that exactly the same effect on the viewer could be achieved without the tragedy.