how to kill a traffic cone
The other day we were stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle, on a single lane carriageway, for quite a way. A line of around 20 vehicles ambled along at 40km/h behind this poor bugger, whose car was clearly experiencing some mechanical issues.
As cars managed to overtake this vehicle, we finally landed up behind him, too. A gap opened up, and off we went, overtaking him. But our initial thoughts of ‘ag shame...’ turned into a ‘what the bloody hell!’ The driver was watching a video on his phone. That’s why he was going so slowly!
Look, the days when we had to worry about motorists speaking on their phones while driving are long done. Now that offense actually seems palatable.
Texting while driving and our morbid fascination with social media has added a whole new dimension to the mobile phone in the car phenomenon.
In the big cities, you only need to peek around at other motorists to experience it first-hand. Motorists so engrossed by a Facebook post that they don’t realise the traffic light has turned green. Then you, stuck behind this nincompoop, politely hoot to make the distracted motorist aware that he or she could have taken off 30 seconds ago – only for the offended motorist to offer a middle finger, because you so rudely interrupted his reading of a post about his aunt’s friend’s new perm.
This is not the first time we raise this point though. But instead of just standing on our pedestal and shouting foul, we’ve decided to do something more concrete. Something to demonstrate how the simple act of texting can affect your driving, and potentially have a huge affect on the people who share the road with you.
We’ve partnered up with Suzuki Auto SA, which supplied a Vitara 1.6. We rented a very slippery skidpan. We asked a driving expert to set up a challenging gymkhana course. And then we asked some famous and Joe Soap drivers to complete the gymkhana... first as fast as possible, secondly, as fast as possible while texting a message.
We also filmed this exercise, and we’ll be sharing some videos on our and our partners’ social media platforms, demonstrating the effects of texting while driving. Suffice to say, the test did not work out so well for a number of traffic cones after being run over by a Suzuki.
Head over to leisurewheels.co.za for more information.