Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sponsored post: Road manners

One of the things that made me smile during my travels in Asia is the way drivers use horns. Getting ready to turn? Peep-peep! Greeting a friend? Peep-peep! Wondering what's causing this traffic jam? Peep-peep! Need to get past that beautifully painted lorry? Peep-peep! Goats in the road? Peep-peep!

Here in the UK, however, horns are used mainly in anger -- Baaaaaaaarp! "What are you doing you idiot?" The sound of a UK carhorn makes me jump -- and it makes me feel as if I'm doing something wrong (even if I'm not the target). AXA Car Insurance has recently carried out research into the effects on car horns, measuring the mental stress caused by some of the UK's most popular car makes. The Fiat Punto came out as the most evil. Of course a car horn needs to pull a careless roaduser up short, but is it acceptable to distract everyone else on the scene to that degree? On a more positive note, visitors to the Respect on the Road site can vote for their favourite car horn sound.

The insurer is running a campaign to encourage people to say with pride "I respect the road". There's a Facebook group -- 'liking' it would be a good way to make a stand for good road manners, and to encourage your friends to do the same.

And if you're not convinced that politeness is the way forward, what do you think of these little darlings? This short film shows children using road rage tactics to resolve a kiddie car accident. Not a pretty sight.

AXA Respect On The Road also has its own YouTube channel which includes cabcam footage of an unusual taxi driver -- he wants to hear his passengers' opinions, rather than talking away to himself.

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