Monday, October 24, 2005

Tailgating – great advertisement in Astro

(Tailgating - some idiots do it on daily basis. They have little consideration on the safety of others)
Anyone who saw this advertisement in Astro must have appreciated the great message that the advertisement was trying to convey – don’t tailgate. But a quick look at the advertisement reveals other important lessons too.

Let’s look at the advertisement again:-

A truck was tailgated by 2 cars (a Proton Wira followed by a Mitsubishi Evo – wow!). Both cars were trying to overtake the slow moving truck but the situation was not right for a clean overtaking. In fact, the road that they were traveling had double line which meant that it was illegal for them to overtake at this stretch. This however did not stop the Proton Wira from trying. This act of trying to overtake caught the attention of the truck driver who was constantly watching over his rear mirrors
At one point, the truck driver was so engaged at watching at his rear mirror that he did not realized a Kancil pull out into his path. The truck driver slams his brakes causing the Proton Wira to hit the back of the truck. The last that the Proton Wira driver sees in his mirrors is the Mitsubishi (who was also tail-gating) hitting his car at high speed

So, who at the wrong?

1. The Kancil driver for pulling into the main road without early indication and without ensuring whether the traffic was clear or not.

2. The trick driver for losing his concentration on his driving and let minor things to distract his attention.

3. The Proton Wira driver for tailgating and trying to overtake despite of the double line.

4. The Mitsubishi driver who was tailgating the Wira and was driving at high speed.

All the above is part of a rather reckless chain reaction. I have been in the Wira’s situation several times whenever I am using the Banting or Sungai Besar roads (2 lane roads with plenty of double lined roads) and trust me; it is absolutely dangerous to be overtaking at double lanes. There is just too little room to make errors and errors if any, are fatal. So, I would wait out for double lanes to clear and overtake at straight or when the visibility of the incoming traffic is extremely good.
I sometime tailgate the truck in front of me, merely to be in the slipstream and powering up to do the overtaking (handing a manual transmission helps too to get the right power for overtaking). I leave some room to slam my brakes if need to. Otherwise, I don’t mind being held up by a slower moving truck for the rest of the journey – it is better to arrive late than not arriving at all.

Another thing of cars pulling up into the main traffic without proper indication or checking, I am not sure whether I am minority here but it always seems that the culprit in real life is a Kancil – often driven by a Malay lady with tudung or old Indian aunty or Chinese college student (with her other 4 friends in the car). There are guys too – old pakcik or “suppose to be cool” Indian guys who hogs the road. I am sorry if I am being gender bias here but please correct me if this is not true – that some ladies (and guys) think that just because they had put in the indicator, it means they can turn left or right without looking. Don’t they have to look first before they turn? Yes, there are good lady drivers out there but unfortunately they belong to a small elite group.

Concentrating on the traffic at 100% of the time can be tough especially if the journey is long and there are too many activities in the car itself. As for me, it is often when I am changing my CDs or changing the radio channel. However, the driver has a responsibility to himself / herself and the loved ones to ensure whatever the distraction may be, it does not pose a great distraction to his / her concentration on the road.

Anyway, the advertisement is great and is able to carry forward the message very effectively. I just hope that there are more similar type of high impact (pun intended) advertisements on road safety and driving behavior & attitude.
(Picture source:

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