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Car horn pet peeve

  1. Jul 17, 2012 #1
    <rant> I rarely rant, but this one really bothers me. I absolutely hate how Americans use the car horn. It's almost always aggressive and unhelpful. I can understand using the car horn when someone callously wrongs someone else or for helpful communication, but far too often it's aggressive and unhelpful. Just today I got put into a bad position where I ended up blocking traffic until I could get free to another lane. Cars proceeded to honk their horns at me. As if I didn't realize I made a mistake and was blocking traffic. Yes thank you for reminding me with your horns. But it wasn't even one horn blast of frustration which I could at least possibley understand, they proceed to keep honking their horns. I was trapped until I could let other cars past me so I could get in the next lane. There was nothing I could do. I even put my hand up to signify I was sorry. They still blasted their horns as if I could do anything about it. It boggled my mind. What exactly did they expect me to do. Yes I understand I made a mistake, yes I understand I am inconveniencing you and I am sorry, now please be patient as there is nothing either of us can do at the moment. Far too often I see this happen to other people. Others will honk their horns like crazy at people who block traffic temporarily or make an innocent mistake. The horn in that case really serves absolutely no value. Yet people just do it as an "F You". arrrrrgh I hate it! </rant> :)
     
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  3. Jul 17, 2012 #2

    BobG

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    If you couldn't keep going in the lane you were in, how could you possibly be blocking traffic and why would they be honking their horns?
     
  4. Jul 17, 2012 #3
    Two lane downtown city road turning left, I pulled out and a few cars came out of no where and I had to stop half way pulling out, blocking the right lane, I couldn't reverse as another car was behind me.
     
  5. Jul 17, 2012 #4

    turbo

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    Honking is generally unhelpful. There are people that blast their horns when the person ahead of them at an intersection don't move immediately when the light turns green. I could understand that if the driver ahead of you is clearly talking on their cell phone and distracted, but there are plenty of drivers who are a bit slow on the uptake. There is no excuse for blasting some grandmother because she didn't get a drag-race start on green.

    The only time that I use my horn is to make a very short "beep" when I overtaking another driver and intend to pass. I also flash my high-beams briefly. It's just common courtesy. Courtesy seems to be in short supply on the roads, these days.
     
  6. Jul 17, 2012 #5

    arildno

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    Honkers are bonkers! :approve:
     
  7. Jul 17, 2012 #6
    If you don't like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk.
     
  8. Jul 17, 2012 #7
    Many years ago the horn in the zoobiebrushmobile began to sound non-stop for no apparent reason when I was parked in a parking lot. Bashing the switch did nothing. The fuse turned out to be shared with something else I needed, so the only way to shut it up was to open the hood and disconnect it.

    I have not had a horn for years now. This has made me a patient careful driver. I've learned to sit with equanimity behind people dreaming at stop lights, waiting kindly for them to finish their naps and notice the light's now green. I slow down for jaywalkers, and have learned to be satisfied merely thinking bad thoughts about people whom I would otherwise have honked at.

    Horns are intended to warn, but that actual effect they have is to startle and anger. It's often impossible to tell who's honking and at whom, and everyone in the vicinity ends up on edge.

    I think car manufacturers should get together with psychologists and rethink the sound horns produce. As is, they nearly always make the problem worse.
     
  9. Jul 17, 2012 #8

    arildno

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    Honking is a guilt absolving ritual.
     
  10. Jul 17, 2012 #9

    jedishrfu

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    you should've gotten out of your car and kicked the tires like it was broken.
     
  11. Jul 17, 2012 #10

    Borek

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    There should be two horns in every car - a nice one, and a ROARRRR one.

    Try to stop, leave the car, go to see the trunk, then proceed to the honker and ask in a concerned voice what have happened, as you can't see anything wrong and you are afraid of even a scratch, as it is not your car.
     
  12. Jul 17, 2012 #11

    jim hardy

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    Disney caught it ~ 1950 in "Mr Walker & Mr WHeeler"

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  13. Jul 17, 2012 #12

    BobG

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    So there was something you could have done. You could have quit inconveniencing the people wanting to travel in your lane and inconvenienced the cars coming the other way by pulling out right in front of them.

    Kind of depends on what type of vehicles were coming the other way as to which would have been the better option. If the vehicles coming the other way looked like this, then pulling out in front of them would probably hardly inconvenience them at all. They probably wouldn't even bother to honk their horns.

    http://www.paramountgroup.biz/uploads/assets/pictures/General_Site_Pictures/Products/Land/Marauder/marauder.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  14. Jul 17, 2012 #13

    Ben Niehoff

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    Are you kidding? I would find that highly offensive. First you blind me and then you want to complain that I'm driving too slow? If you want to pass, pass. If you need me to slow down in order for you to pass, maybe you don't understand the point of passing.

    If you're talking about two-lane mountain roads, I know the rules and I'll pull into the next turnout if I'm in front of three or more cars who want to go faster. But not you, by yourself. And if you're following me too close in a truck, blinding me with your high-beams, I can't see whether there are more cars waiting behind you. So sit tight.

    The thing that really gets me in LA (not sure how much this happens elsewhere) is honking at pedestrians (who have the audacity to get in the way!). As if scaring the living crap out of them is going to make them get out of the way faster. Car horns are loud. I have a personal rule never to honk at pedestrians no matter how much they inconvenience me, even if they are wrong.
     
  15. Jul 17, 2012 #14

    AlephZero

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    In the UK, that usually means you are inviting the car in front to have a race. So expect to be driving on the wrong side of the road for quite a long way when you pull out to overtake, if it's "game on".

    The "civilised" meaning of a headlamp flash in the UK is to show you will give way to another car, (that wants to merge into your lane, or turn across your path, or whatever) even though "the rules" say you don't need to do that.
     
  16. Jul 17, 2012 #15
    That describes what happened to me just a few minutes ago on a three lane. I was in the left lane passing someone in the center lane. As I did, another car came up to my rear at about 80 mph. He had to slow down while I completed passing. I started to go into the center lane when I saw that there was another car in the right lane also moving into the center lane. I had to abandon my lane change for a second while that car went ahead of me and then I was able to get into the center lane myself with the accompaniment of a one-horn band. It was his way of telling me that he hadn't been paying attention to what was going on and almost rear-ended me. Thanks for letting me know.
     
  17. Jul 17, 2012 #16

    Curious3141

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    It amuses me to see what passes for boorish road behaviour in the US. I've actually driven in the US - San Diego, to be exact, and I found it to be a refreshingly peaceful change from the driving patterns in my native Singapore. Even making allowances for the fact that you guys drive on the wrong side of the road (despite driving on the "right" side :biggrin:), most US drivers are paragons of politeness compared to the average Singaporean driver.

    Here, lane changes with prior signalling are an exception rather than the norm. It's not necessarily rudeness, a lot of it is just survival instinct, because if you signal, seven times out of ten, the idiot behind will actually speed up to block you. :rolleyes: And people consider it a weakness if they allow turning traffic to encroach (as is their right) into a marked yellow box junctions, so they often block it (even though it's illegal). Horns punctuate the on-road soundtrack almost everyday. Accompanied by the frequent flashes of high beams, of course.

    So if you think the US is bad, try Singapore.

    And if you think Singapore's bad, try Thailand.

    And if you think Thailand's bad, try India.

    ...etc. There's always someone in a crazier situation out there. :wink:

    On a positive note, I've found that drivers in the UK generally have the best road manners I've seen anywhere.
     
  18. Jul 17, 2012 #17

    turbo

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    In Maine (lots of truck traffic on main roads) the high-beam flash is meant to tell truck-drivers that their vehicle is safely by you so that they can can pull back into your lane or to signal to a driver up ahead that you intend to pass them. Nobody is getting blinded by such a headlight flash, and the truckers surely appreciate the courtesy. Except for I-95, almost all the main roads here are 2-lanes and we need to observe some common courtesy so we an all be safe.
     
  19. Jul 17, 2012 #18

    DaveC426913

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    I believe that the message in the incessant honking is that there was something the driver could do: not make the mistake next time.

    The honking is an attempt to shame people into being less aggressive in general.
     
  20. Jul 17, 2012 #19
    Generally, that just pisses people off and makes them more aggressive. I've used my horn a number of times to keep other drivers from crashing in to me only to get the finger or angry fist. Driving is stressful and a shamed or embarrassed driver will often become angry. These days, you're liable to get shot in such circumstances.

    Horns are to be used to warn other drivers or pedestrians that they are about to do something dangerous, not to admonish them after making a mistake. Although it rarely happens, you can be ticketed for improper use of a horn.
     
  21. Jul 17, 2012 #20

    chiro

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    I tend not to use my horn unless necessary because it sounds like a clown horn (seriously). Might as well just have the music playing in the background and get someone who can juggle while I'm at it.
     
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