Parallel Parking for Sociopaths

Telecommunications giant Sprint recently launched an ad campaign called "Waitless," the gist of which seems to be that one of its plans allows customers unlimited calling two hours earlier than other companies do, thereby saving "four years of waiting over a lifetime."

To illustrate the point, sort of, Sprint has a series of short spots depicting additional time-saving tips. Many if not most are harmless enough. Then there’s this ad. For maximum effect, be sure to have your speakers on. See if your stomach jumps the first time you watch, as mine did.

Note how the vehicle coming in the opposite direction is labeled an "obstacle," while the fleeing pedestrians don’t even rate as such. Note how this maneuver is supposedly possible at a speed of just over 20 miles per hour. Note how "Turbo Parking" is advertised as saving one week of the motorist’s life, with no mention of how it might shorten the lives of humans who must scramble out of the way.  

Sure, it’s just a commercial, and it’s a pretty nifty piece of stunt driving, no doubt. But why must car manufacturers and other companies so often portray vehicles being used in an illegal and deadly manner? How long before the "Closed Course/Professional Driver/Do Not Attempt" approach is considered gauche — or is prohibited by law, like cigarette ads?

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