Road Distractions

Driving is a complex task. To anticipate and avoid hazards on the road, drivers need to concentrate and give it their full attention.

You can never be sure about what other drivers will do, which is why preventative measures are important. Such measures include keeping your distance from other vehicles, keeping your speed down and staying alert to what is happening all around you.

It involves constant and complex coordination between your mind and body. Events or things that prevent you from operating your car safely are distractions. There are three types of distractions and they are anything that takes your:

  • eyes off the road (visual).
  • mind off the road (cognitive).
  • hands off the steering wheel (manual).

The prevalence of distracting activities while driving should motivate us to identify perceived risks and adverse outcomes due to the distractions.

There is no doubt that there are plenty of things that can distract us when we are driving. While we all know that we should certainly not be using mobile phones,  iPads and other similar gadgets when we are driving, these are manageable and easily controllable. What is more saddening is that these aren’t the only distractions that can pose a threat. External distractions also constitute a great deal that may lead us to accidents that could cost us our limbs, or worst, our lives.

There are many road distractions that can take your eyes and mind from the road, thus causing several road accidents.  Here’s a few of them:

1. “Sexy” Billboard Ads – ads that depict scantily-clad women, or men, are at the highest spot. Many drivers would tend to take more than just a peek to see some skin intentionally being displayed just to sell some freakin’ product. I believe that if these companies need to add personalities to “seduce”, I mean to promote, their products then that would most probably mean that their product, on its own, is no good at all.

But what about companies who offer face reconstruction, butt or boobs augmentation, skin rejuvenation, or beauty enhancement? Do they have the right to use well-endowed, muscular good looking (or sexy and macho) celebrity endorsers?

2. Political Tarpaulins/Signage – Politicians say these are just for information dissemination  or for public announcements. But we all know what their real intentions are even if they won’t admit it. If it’s not enough to broadcast via tarpaulins and signage about their projects, greetings and announcements – they still had to incorporate their faces as well. The “Anti-epal” bill is surely needed to prevent these public servants to litter the streets with their “mugshots”.

The people are not dumb to not think that all of these are just for publicity to brainwash and manipulate society…and to think of the attached cost to produce these tarps:

1. Selection of the appropriate suit or dress for the photo session.
2. Photo session with the photographers.
3. Photo-editing to remove the imperfections out of their faces.
4. Conceiving the words and designing the lay-out for the signage or tarpaulin.
5. Approval of the finished product.
5. Delivering the final layout to the printers for printing.
6. Installation of the signage or tarpaulin to the designated locations.

What’s wrong with this picture? This billboard is HUGE. Tell us, is this a public service message or early campaigning? How come the word VOTE and the politicians last name is a whole lot bigger than the supposed message?

Gravity Wall?….. more like ……Grabe ‘To ‘Tol !

I’m at a loss for words.. Let’s go, Anti-epal bill!!!

3. “Commercial” Vehicular Ads – I consider them as a distraction because you should not expect me to look into a moving advertisement while I am driving. It not only loses my focus on my driving,  it also makes me think of other matters instead of paying attention to road signs, other vehicles  and pedestrians. This thought-grabbing hazard would definitely put my life in danger.

Why do they want me to think of trivial needs and necessities in the middle of my driving? They are definitely asking for a road accident. These companies should be sued for creating a distraction.

4. “Political” Vehicular Ads – Government-funded and bought vehicles should not be adorned by political ads or personal campaigns by the incumbent officials. This is outright taking advantage of their position or authority and a definite waste of taxpayers’ money. What happens next if they lose in the next election? Would the newly-elected or appointed official re-paint these vehicles and replace the design with the names of the new administration officials? It’s not a far-fetched assumption.

I am disappointed one has my surname on the vehicle below. It is a disgrace seeing a probable distant relative using a government-owned vehicle to raise his ego and popularity. Shame on him!

5. Product Endorsement Signage Ala-Hollywood – Much was said about the former plan of Governor Vilma Santos to put a Batangas sign at the foot of the Taal volcano, but what can you say about this signage by the Langhap-Sarap brand well-loved by kids? Does it improve or enhance the beauty of nature, or is it just an eye-sore?

6. MMDA Pedestrian Signs – It was intended by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to warn pedestrians, but I was a bit shocked the first time I saw them while I was driving my car along the highways of EDSA. A sign saying in BIG bold letters “BAWAL TUMAWID, MAY NAMATAY NA DITO” (No Crossing, Somebody Died Here Already). I know its not meant for motorists, but it simply distracts me as well. If these signs don’t work, then what’s next? They will post pictures of dead people who got into an accident because they were just too stubborn to follow their pedestrian signs?

7. Mad Motorcycle Motorists – I hate them when they start swerving from the left to the right, then left again, then right again….especially during traffic jams, and when the vehicles are crammed in so tight but they still would try to squeeze their way in just to have their way and get ahead of the other motorists. Many would try to get in front of your car as if they’re indestructible and immune to being bumped and getting thrown out from their rides.

Now what could be more distracting than a bad biker?…A bad biker with a bootylicious babe back-riding.

So don’t get distracted. Always focus on your driving. It’s crucial that you remain alert while on the road to arrive at your destination safely.

Have you seen a horse with a whatchamacallit thingy on its head that is somehow restricting its sight? From a quick Googling of the keywords “what do you call the thing that they put on a horses head to prevent them from seeing left and right?” (seriously), I’ve found out that these simple yet useful contraptions are called blinders.

Basically, blinders are used to keep the horse focused on what is in front of it. Since the horse can’t see everything in it’s peripheral vision, it keeps the horse from becoming distracted or scared. You will notice that blinders are used in situations where there may a lot of distractions, such as public places.

Just like a horse with blinders, let’s pretend that we have an imaginary  “blinder” attached to our heads to prevent us from getting distracted but let us use one that is transparent enough to allow us  to see only the “essentials”.

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