Radio commercials with cars honking and skidding sounds

Being the decadent guy that I am, I have a stereo installed in my car. I even use it while I’m driving.

Today, I was driving in heavy traffic back from Cape Cod. I had the radio turned up to reasonable volume and was just cruising along. A song ends and a commercial comes on that I am not even paying attention.

All of the sudden I hear bahhhh bahhhh (long horn sound) and I frantically look in my rear view mirror and quickly to both sides. Then I hear a long skidding sound followed by a crash. Please realize that this took about 2 seconds and I am already covered in sweat and feeling sick.

Then, I hear the source. An announcer says: “What if this happened to you? Random insurance company ad follows.”

Listen fuck face, that almost did happen to me because of you. When I hear frantic honking and then skidding, I don’t sit there and mull over the source. I am prepared to take evasive action immediately.

This is not the first time and not even the 100th time this has happened. If it was just you Mr. Insurance Man, I would just blow up your company headquarters and be done with it. But no, lots of companies decide that scaring the piss out of people is an effective marketing tactic. I bet that hundreds if not thousands of people have been hurt and even killed by your stupidity.

I now live in terror of my radio. I won’t be able to listen to it at all while I am driving thanks to you. I will only be able to listen to CD’s and only after I listen to them carefully at home first to make sure that someone didn’t slip some loud explosion, gun fire, or other cataclysmic threat somewhere in there.

Maybe the problem is with you. I can easily discern sounds coming from car stereo versus real sounds coming from outside

You are a lying shitbag… unless you’ve heard the ad before and know to expect the sound, your brain isn’t going to distinguish between the radio and reality in a split second.

That and emergency vehicle sirens on radio advertising, should be illegal.

Ugh, this is one of my pet peeves. This would make a good crosspost in this thread. [note: I do not condone crossposting. Do so at your own risk.]

Maybe your stereo is not as lifelike as mine. :slight_smile:

But you do have somewhat of a point. My startle reflex is unusually strong. People sitting behind me in high school used to think it was funny to grab both of my arms quickly from behind. I would either jump so high that I would knock my desk over or I would jump to the side and be standing while everyone turned to figure out why I was standing and how I did it so fast. On at least two occasions, I landed on the floor.

Don’t even think about tickling me either. My reflex is to turn and punch. A few people found that out the hard way. None of this is a conscience response.

I am sure that I am not the only one or maybe I am. Either way, I am still pissed.

Sometimes it’s not that easy. My Dad still tells about the time he heard a siren and pulled to the next lane but nothing passed… there was no emergency vehicles in sight. This happened at least once more before he realized it was my brother (quite young at the time) playing with one of his toy cars. A police car, that when you pressed it a little chip played a siren noise.

They must play the same ad in NY/CT. I had the same reaction, and I was pretty pissed when it turned out to be the radio.

Reminds me of the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry goes crazy after hearing that AAMCO commercial. He ended up wrecking that '57 chevy.

It’s entirely possible his personal hearing is good enough that he can actually tell the difference “between the radio and reality in a split second.” I think the assumption you’re making is neither justifiable nor warranted, and a bit rude to boot.

Sounds more like you have a crappy in-car stereo than exceptional hearing; some of these commercials use sounds samples of car horns that are recorded/filtered to sound like they would if they were real and you were hearing them from inside a vehicle - they are vehicle-related adverts, after all. On FM radio, the quality of reproduction is sufficient to make them sound quite realistic enough too fool a driver, particularly as there will be an element of genuine noise inside the vehicle.

I agree that it’s extremely irritating to be startled by these noises. However, I don’t think they should be banned. You wouldn’t ban CD’s containing these same noises, and they can be listened to in the car just as well as the radio can. There’s no inherent connection between the radio and driving a car (people listen to the radio outside of cars all the time), so the radio should not be regulated as though its sole use is for in-car listening. The responsibility should be with the driver to make sure that whatever noises come out of the radio won’t interfere with the operation of the car. For example, by turning it down (or off, if you’re particularly jumpy).

(Yes, I understand that the OP wasn’t necessarily calling for a ban, just ranting about the noises.)

And if you aren’t prepared to hear people shout “fire!”, then maybe you shouldn’t be going to crowded theaters.

If driving with the radio on creates a hazard, I suggest you turn the radio off. Why is it the radio station’s fault that you are a dangerous driver who can’t keep your mind on the road?

Oh, and Liberal, sorry to hear the lithium isn’t working; tried electroshock yet?

With my particular system, screeches don’t fool me, but sirens often do. Every few days I mistake a siren in a song or commercial for reality, and for a moment I think I’m being pulled over fro speeding or something. Pisses me off a bit.

What the…? Oh… Well, I haven’t tried either lithium or electroshock, but have learned to read. Good luck in your quest to do the same. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ditto this, there isn’t a system in the world that could fool me into thinking it was the real thing. Why is that so fucking hard to believe?

Not trying to say anything bad about the OP though. I’ve just never heard of this before and never really thought of myself as having exceptional hearing.

But in retrospect, maybe advertisers should know better than to make such sound bites like these for radio. Which I would think the majority audience is DRIVING.

They are dangerous and they decrease the effectiveness of the horn and siren in real life situation. I say ban them.

Different person, same username. Confusing, no?

I’ve never taken evasive action due to those commercials, but they do startle the fuck out of me at times. And I’m driving an old Honda with a really crappy sound system, so there’s that excuse gone.

If the radio is on in the background, and you’re concentrating on driving or having a conversation with a passenger, then yes, a commercial (which, like TV ads, tend to be louder than the regular programming) with sirens or screeching brakes can startle you. Don’t be so quick to judge.