By on April 28, 2014

2014 Volvo S60, Interior, Gauges and steering wheel, Picture Courtesy of Teknikens Värld

Yesterday, someone had the audacity to honk at me. It wasn’t one of those cheerful little toots that a person might use to get someone’s attention when waving them into traffic, but a full-on ten second blast – the kind that you should only use when you are behind the controls of a freight train that is bearing down upon someone in the tracks. The offender? Some octogenarian in a Buick. My crime? A not so near-miss that occurred while I was making a left turn across traffic from a side street into a center turn lane.

The fact I’m still stewing about it a full day later should say something about how often I get blasted with the horn. In the approximately thirty years I have been driving, I would guess it has happened less than a dozen times. Likewise, in that same period, I have only done it a few times myself, mostly from the back of a motorcycle, and then only after the gravest offense. That’s because I was taught, to put it mildly, that blasting the horn is an audible middle finger and the sort of thing that might cause a near miss to escalate into actual violence.

In my travels I have noticed that different cultures manifest themselves on the roads in different ways. In some cities blaring horns are so common that they have ceased to have any real effect. In the same way that someone who lives on the final approach to a major airport no longer hears the noise of the jets whizzing less than a thousand feet overhead, horns in those places have become a normal part of the background noise as innocuous as the chirping of birds to someone who lives near a park. Here in the good ol’ USA, however, the honking of horns for anything more than the occasional beep is uncommon and anything more might result in a hail of gunfire.

Although I am not officially assigned to TTAC’s Question Of The Day beat, I would like to start a discussion about horns, how and when they are used. Am I the only one who takes it personally when someone flips me the audible bird? Was my desire to follow the old man home and bludgeon him to death with his own walker reasonable, or unreasonable?

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148 Comments on “QOTD: How Do You Use Your Horn?...”


  • avatar
    319583076

    90% of my horn blasts are intended to avoid a collision, i.e. – a collision is imminent without intervention from myself and/or the offending driver and my intent is to alert the other driver.

    10% of my horn blasts are directed at people who aren’t going to cause a collision, but are driving in a reckless, stupid, clueless, dangerous manner. These may or may not be supplemented by hand gestures and verbal suggestions.

    That said, 99% of the time I’m behind the wheel my horn is silent.

  • avatar
    Baldpeak

    Some people seem to think you’re in the wrong if you cause them to brake at all when they have the right of way. I don’t think that’s correct cause it would make it impossible for a big slow truck to get across some intersections. Doesn’t seem to be any laws about it where I live. Obviously, if there’s an accident, you’ll have a hard time proving the other driver could have easily stopped in time, so I try to avoid it, but that doesn’t mean you were in the wrong.

    I don’t think I’ve ever leaned on the horn. It’s for emergencies only, apart from the polite toot. One flaw with my F30 BMW, it’s impossible to give a quiet toot. If I just smack the horn, it does nothing. I have to give it a firm press, and then it sounds pretty loud and rude. Makes me cringe cause I know people are thinking that stereotypical prick in the BMW is pissed off.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      If you pull out in front of me when my closing speed is clearly fast, you’re obligated to get up to speed quickly. I’m more forgiving of big trucks, not just for the physics involved but because they might have to sit there all day, and I understand that. Don’t pull out, make me slam on my brakes, and then leisurely accelerate to 5 mph BELOW the speed limit. You’ll get my wrath every time.

      • 0 avatar
        caltemus

        I agree 100%. Most of the time this is why I end up blasting the horn. It’s even worse when there is NO traffic behind me and they could have just waited half a second. On my daily commute there is a huge hill I coast down, and there always seems to be some asshole pulling out of the side street at the bottom and I’ve got to threshold brake to avoid a collision.

        • 0 avatar
          Yoss

          Most of my drive to work is on a 2-laner that goes by a couple warehouses and shipping centers. I’m always taken aback at how much faith some of those truckers have that other drivers are being attentive enough to avoid a collision. I’m talking about 55 mph traffic being slowed down to 10 to let these foolhardy SOBs onto the road.

          All of those intersections are controlled by stoplights too so it’s not like they’ve been stewing for 10 minutes at a stop sign.

          I don’t honk though. Those jerks know what they’re doing and I’m not giving them the satisfaction of hearing me honk.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    1. Generally, a quick beep for someone who is paying more attention to their phone/pad/whatever, than the GREEN light in front of them.

    2. A FULL ON no holds barred BLAST for the idiot, who while paying attention to whatever electronic device, pulls out in front of me, when I am less than 20 feet away doing 35-40 mph, causing me to have to jam on brakes to avoid hitting them. And then to add insult to injury, they slow down, looking around as if to say “what’d I do?”

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Actually, they’ll blow their horn right back accompanied by rude gestures and incoherent screaming at you. Because you had the audacity to be on THEIR road.

  • avatar
    Yeah_right

    When someone is texting or otherwise not paying attention, a “beep” to tell them to wake up because the light is green.

    When someone turns left in front of me and I’ve got the right-of-way and they force me to alter my speed so I don’t hit them, they get me laying on the horn for as long as they can hear it.

    Unfortunately, I drive an FJ Cruiser which has an “excuse me” horn. Someday, I’m going to salvage from a junkyard the only thing of any value from the gigantic Pontiac Catalina station wagon dad used to own – the GM “get the hell out of my way, moron” horn. I want the knucklehead to have a heart attack from the blast, not giggle at the silly thing.

    • 0 avatar
      koshchei

      I love the old Cadillac 4 note horns.

    • 0 avatar
      Fonzy

      They have a horn upgrade for the FJ from Toyota. They even have a mooting hole and connecter under the hood. Just do a search for OEM FJ cruiser horn upgrade. They should have included this with the car. It’s about $50.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      My wife’s 2014 Jetta also has a “meep meep” horn, which was part of VW’s decontenting. I have purchased and will soon install a high-note horn to give it the proper German horn that it should have left the factory with. I don’t understand the wimpy horns on some cars… What’s the point?

      Also, I honk whenever anyone pisses me off in traffic, which is way too often. But my Jetta wagon has a satisfying German horn, so it’s worth it.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      These Harbor freight horns, $10 for the pair, are almost always a plug and play upgrade. On my Subaru, I had to add a ground wire since the factory grounded the horn through the mounting stud.

      http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-12-volt-electric-horn-set-99911.html

  • avatar
    koshchei

    Almost never.

    In dangerous situations, I’m of the view that it’s better to drive myself smartly out of the situation than to surprise the other driver, potentially making things worse/less predictable.

    I don’t take offence when somebody is an idiot/distracted behind the wheel. They aren’t doing it to me, they’re idiots for everyone.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      This. If you have the time to honk, you can probably avoid the accident. They’re almost never useful.

      I don’t even know what my horn sounds like. In 7 years I’ve hit it less than once a year, mostly on accident. If my car didn’t have it, I wouldn’t miss it.

      People that use their horns always seem like a-holes. In fact, every person I’ve known or encountered that would lay into their horn was a dangerously-aggressive driver/person that probably should have their license revoked before they kill someone.

      I also fear what might happen if I were to honk at someone that is mindlessly cutting me off that I can avoid. What if they brake abruptly as a result? You don’t want that, you want as much distance as you can get to brake. It just adds too many unpredictable variables to a dangerous situation. After the dangerous situation is over, honking is pointless.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    whenever i use the horn, i make sure to use it EXTRA LONG to make it EXTRA EMBARRASSING for all involved. And OP, i’m 35 years old for your age comparison study.

    • 0 avatar
      koshchei

      When I was a kid, my mother had a Plymouth Volare wagon. You used the horn at your own risk, as it was likely to get stuck and keep sounding for the next half hour.

      Of course, the car’s tendency to stall, and then flood itself in the middle of intersections lead to a few thermonuclear horn exchanges back in the day. The best was when it was another Volare driver doing the honking. Two flooded cars with flat batteries from stuck horns in the middle of an intersection was the absolute epitome of embarrassment.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I call that “New York Style”

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    The only time I use my horn is to alert the texting addict or octogenarian pre-corpse in front of me that the light has turned green.

    And I lean on it to accentuate that they should really be paying more attention to the world around them.

    The rest of the time, it’s easier and quicker to just drive around them.

    • 0 avatar

      I blast texters. I do it when they are unaware that the light has changed to green, and I do it when I see them texting as I pass them or they pass me on the highway.

      I blast the horn in situations where it might be necessary to avoid a crash. This happens only very rarely, and I only do it if it doesn’t impede me from doing any of my own crash avoidance.

      • 0 avatar
        Halftruth

        I too, blast texters to the max. They always react by putting the phone down and (from what I can tell) pay attention and drive. Obviously, they know they are doing something wrong. I don’t text fyi and this behavior incenses me to say the least. If you would rather text, watch movies, trade pics or whatever, then don’t drive! Stay home!

        • 0 avatar
          tienbac2005

          I also only blast towards texters or people who are busy doing anything else except for driving. Most of my close calls have been texters who are drifting into my lane. More states should enact these hands free law. DC/MD and a few other states around me already has that enacted, but VA for some reason, with all of the bad traffic that is obviously caused by distracted driving, haven’t done anything. This is another topic for another time.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I very rarely use the horn. I will give a toot after an (un)reasonable amount of time sitting after the light turns green. NOTHING irritates me more than being in NY/NJ where people will honk if you aren’t moving a millisecond after the light turns. I will sit right there until it turns yellow in that case.

    Otherwise, only when there is imminent danger. Inevitably caused by some yahoo with a phone clutched to their ear cutting me off.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’m that guy honking at you (and I’m not from NY/NJ). The reason I’m honking at you is that, by delaying everyone behind you at the light you’re at, you’re probably making them miss a bunch more lights. Drivers in any big city have a finely honed understanding of what they need to do to get stopped by as few lights as possible, and it usually requires split-second timing. Some guy picking his nose while a green light is in front of him screws everyone else up.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      People in NY/NJ are honking at you if you aren’t rolling forward when the cross street turns yellow/red (depending on if the light has delayed green). It’s ridiculous.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    In Miami, you use your horn if you want to get shot!

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      Truth! It first happened in Kendall way back in 1980 very close to where I was driving down US 1, and to this day I refuse to use my horn for any reason. It’s not worth enraging some other driver who, in Miami, is highly likely to have a loaded gun in the car. My type A father would frequently get into screaming matches with other drivers over minor traffic errors. — as a kid in the back seat, I was always worried that someone would pull out a gun and shoot him.

      I wish cars had an electronic chirp button instead of a horn, much like the sound some cars make when the doors are locked. This would allow one to give a chirp when somebody doesn’t notice a light that has turned green rather than blast them with the horn, possibly enacting the above scenario.

  • avatar
    16b

    I’ve never been in a situation where a collision is about to occur and I need to use the horn to alert the other driver. Most of the time it’s just a quick honk to alert the in-duh-vidual in front that the light is green. The longer blasts are reserved for particularly dangerous/selfish offenses, such as being cut off on the freeway, and the people who run red lights when I’m trying to turn left. It probably doesn’t make any difference in those situations, though.

    When I first got my license someone told me that a short double honk is more “polite” than a single honk. I don’t know how universally acknowledged this is, but I know my car’s horn switch makes it very difficult to do anything other than lay on the horn, so a double honk is out of the question.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I like the double-toot, and it ‘s a shame so many cars make it hard or impossible. I don’t know why it seems friendlier than single toot, but it does.

      • 0 avatar
        kmoney

        Always likes this too. For probably 95% of my signalling it’s this or a high-beam flash. I always hated the cars with the little buttons for the horn (vs. the entire airbag portion as a switch), as it made it impossible to do the double honk. My old Grand Marquis has this and more time than no I’d end up head slouched down looking like an ass because I ended up laying on the horn when trying to tap it.

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      Always liked this too. For probably 95% of my signalling it’s this or a high-beam flash. I always hated the cars with the little buttons for the horn (vs. the entire airbag portion as a switch), as it made it impossible to do the double honk. My old Grand Marquis has this and more times than not I’d end up head slouched down looking like an ass because I ended up laying on the horn when trying to tap it.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      “I’ve never been in a situation where a collision is about to occur and I need to use the horn to alert the other driver.”

      I wish I could relate. You either just got your license, or drive in a very low traffic area.

  • avatar
    darkwing

    With apologies to Dave Barry, basically to communicate one of three things:

    1) The light is red.
    2) The light is green.
    3) My vehicle is equipped with a horn.

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    The only time I generally use my horn is to test it before my inspection (2 years)

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The last time I used the horn, a woman failed to obey a stop sign, I hit her and my horn stayed on for a long time, it did not keep her from going thru the stop sign anyway!

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Lately I’ve been finding myself in the following situation: person in adjacent lane puts on turn signal to ask to get into my lane (usually because their lane is ending and they can’t look past the end of their own nose let alone a few hundred feet down the road), I back off and make a hole, they DON’T merge. I’m not going to close the gap I made just in case they do suddenly decide to merge, but they’re not merging. All I can do is honk and wave at them and hope they get the message. I don’t get it. If I ask to merge and the person in the next lane actually DOES make a hole instead of just pulling up closer to the car in front of them, I move into the gap and wave thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark_MB750M

      I’ve been in that situation a couple times, and honking made it WORSE. The dummy I was giving space to damn-near stopped when I gave him the signal.

      To answer Thomas’ question, I’m 45 and find myself using the horn more often, especially on the motorcycle. The inattentive get a short toot. But lately I’ve been giving right-turn-on-red creepers a solid 3-4 sec blast.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Don’t honk as a way of signaling you’re giving permission. Honking is a warning. You’re sending confusing messages as to your intentions.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian E

        Well, what the hell am I supposed to do then? If I close the gap they’ll suddenly decide to merge into it without looking and hit me.

        Sadly, I already know the answer here: stop trying to be nice to people on the road. I always, always regret it.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          Trust no one. Help no one.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            Yes, this.
            Letting people in when you know that they’re a moron always ends in frustration because now you have to follow a moron. I won’t go out of my way to cut someone off, but I’m done being Mr. Nice Guy. If they want to come over, they can wake up and get over. If not, they can have fun with a panic merge (in front of the chump behind me).
            Re honking, I used to drive a Miata; the experience of once honking at an Escalade the resulted in laughter by the Escalade driver has conditioned me to not honk anymore.
            Need to get one of those Hornblasters super train horns…

  • avatar
    slow kills

    I try to use my horn by pounding on the center of the steering wheel, but airbags have pushed the horn button to some other unintuitive position.
    So I try to use my horn to express anger at bonehead maneuvers, but don’t actually get to use it at all.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Usually for people not paying attention to the green light. The only other times I use are for lane drifters, swervers and people whose merging forces me to have to hit the brakes hard.

    Of course, I think we all use it from time to time when saying hello and goodbye at a family gathering.

  • avatar
    dude500

    In NYC, all the honking is done on the surface streets, not on the highways. A guy can drive like a maniac cutting and tail-gating on FDR and there’ll be no honking, however an attempt at a safe lane change on 6th ave may be met with a 5 second blare.

    Over time, I’ve come to believe that NYers won’t honk when they are genuinely in fear of a situation, but will honk when they feel safe enough to show their indignation.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    If I see someone I know, or a casual “hey the left turn light is green and we only have 15 seconds,” it’s “toot toot.” 9 times out of ten you see their heads whip up from staring down at their laps. Ugh.

    If someone almost causes me injury or death (which seems to happen at least once every 2 months just in my personal microcosm), I lay on it mercilessly. And I hope they can read my lips when they look at me.

    The Kia only came with one horn… sounded like a queef. I was in a vERY BAD SITUATION where the jerkoff didn’t even hear me and I had to hope like hell no one was beside me otherwise there was gonna be some metal (and probably bone) getting crushed. That was the last straw. For only 20 bucks and less than an hour of my time, I got and installed Wolo Maxi Sound horns. It’s a hell of a bargain. High and low tones, only needs a 15 amp fuse and no relay. Not the loudest, but it’s still loud, and immeasurably better than the factory crap was.

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    I use my horn mainly in ten to fifteen second increments to say a polite “no thank you” to offers of custom bodywork. These offers are usually tendered using non-verbal cues such as attempting to merge with my front fender, I assume because the prospective custom coachbuilder’s verbal capacities are apparently fully engaged in another conversation.

  • avatar
    dant1127

    Imagine being stuck in a (rental) Chrysler 300 from the “no power above 30mph” persuasion. Now imagine a long stretch of TX highway, speed limit 70. In front of you is a 6-speed 350z intentionally going 55 in the fast lane, at least until an opening presents itself in the slow lane. Mr. Z stays in the fast lane, waits for you to speed up beside him, then downshifts and blocks you between him and the car in the slow lane. He does this with 3 cars until they exit or just give up in the slow lane. When yours truly gets his turn, after the third instance of this maddening “my sports car is faster than yours” pattern, Mr. Z sees a mile-stretch of slow-lane traffic, cuts me off, and slows down to 55. What happened next is a blur if any officer were to ask, but I may recall clocking 2 straight miles of horn-pressing (which apparently fries the horn; good thing the rental company didn’t check) and a dangerous game of “I’ve lost all ounce of sanity, I’m in a rental, and I’m getting in front of you so either you slow down or my car is ramming your car.” Also, there might have been some revenge brake-checking involved…

    Short version; busted the horn, scared the piss out of the jerk in the Z.

    Mostly, though, I lightly press to inform the texter in front that the light is green. Usually when it comes to avoiding a wreck (which happens weekly in Central Texas, no exaggeration necessary) I don’t have the time/proper amount of arms to swerve, downshift, amd honk within time for it to matter.

  • avatar
    Windy

    While I would agree with you in general I cut the older drivers a lot of slack. I passed 65 last year and things get harder as you get older. I bet you frightened that old fella by what you did even though to you it looked and I expect was just fine. Tolerance is a thing to be encouraged in every one even more so in you young whipper snappers under 60!

    • 0 avatar

      This was a nice, well thought out response. Thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        Windy

        All this chat about horns reminds me of a MB 250SL that I bought used in the 70s… One of the best cars I owned as a young man. It had been bought on euro delivery in 1967 and the build sheet showed that it had several factory options not sold of cars bought stateside the limited slip rear end I guess was available but I never saw another with an oddball one piece trailer hitch where the ball was a forged part of the hitch but fun thing was the pair of autobahn horns chrome plated and fixed under the front bumper and they had an extra selector switch on the dash that had a knob that matched the cigar lighter knob this horn as well as being loud had a very distinctive tone and as I was a grad student in Colorado I used it rather more than the horn on my MINI S gets used today…

        The last time it was tooted was over a year ago when I tooted to warn a driver of a large van that he was backing into traffic.

        Seriously I am a far more laid back driver today than I was even just 15 years ago. In my 20s and 30s it was even worse I was convinced I was a great driver I had Done som SCCA club racing in an old MG-TC and even one a race once when I was 27. But by the time I got to my 40s I was rating myself as just an “above average” driver and these days I only consider myself a safe and courteous driver.
        With age comes perspective

    • 0 avatar
      Roader

      I do give oldsters slack. I just think “that could be my mom” and give them wide berth. OTOH octogenarians driving Buicks tend to be very, very risk averse: 35mph city boulevard, making a left turn, and there’s an oncoming car a block away. Make the turn and – if the car is a Buick driven by an octogenarian – it’s not unusual to hear the horn blasting even though you’re a half a block away by the time the Buick moseys through the intersection. “Who do you think you are, Barney Oldfield?”

  • avatar

    #1. Shout out to friends/ladies

    #2. In anger!

    I just lean on it and let it blow. I can’t hear it inside the car due to the laminated glass and music blasting.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    I’ve twice received a good long honking for the same offense. Late apexing a nice curve, I think appeared to oncoming cars as though I was coming right at them.

    Good times

    • 0 avatar
      Skink

      It will be good times until you do it to a cop.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Or until an innocent bystander freaks out and rolls their car into the weeds trying to avoid what appears to be an imminent head-on collision.

        Really shouldn’t be treating public roads as a personal track.

        • 0 avatar
          mitchw

          Maybe I didn’t explain it right. I’m going around a left hand curve, wide toward the shoulder to my right, and am pointed toward the straight before the turn is over. I never cross the double yellow or even get within a foot of it. Still on two occasions a driver got scared. My first post was meant to convey my own understanding that ‘late apexing’ may upset other people who don’t know what I’m doing. Scolding isn’t required, friends.

          Literally, the internet

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I last used my horn about a month ago while in line to exit a parking lot. The driver of the Murano ahead decided to go right instead of left, and decided they had to reposition to do it. That involved backing up. If the horn had made a difference I wouldn’t have a nice crack in my bumper moulding from the trailer hitch. Then she shrugged and drove off! with a vanity plate… I can’t bring myself to subject her to the risk of “hit and run” over the light tap required to do over a G of damage. I’ll just live with the crack.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      I would have got on 911 and followed her until they pulled her over for leaving the scene of an accident.

      Even though it was in a private parking lot.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’m from New York City. My horn usage is one of the main topics of discussion when I go to the confessional

  • avatar

    All the time, everyday, for everything.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Every opportunity! What kind of question is that!? Lol

    I used to honk at pretty ladies. Now, being a responsible, upstanding citizen and all, I have to stop my hand just before it touches the wheel…

    Lots of female joggers in my neighborhood. Pleasant, Spring weather on Saturdays and Sundays make the weekend errand running even more splendid :)

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    36 and I use the horn:

    -As a gentle reminder to put down the mobile device and notice the light has changed.

    - As a stern reminder to put down the mobile device and keep your vehicle in your lane.

    - As the audible middle finger to those who don’t put down their mobile device and use a turn signal, who don’t stop or yield properly, who pull out in front me due to poor judgement of speed/distance relationship AND don’t accelerate quickly while pulling out in front of me.

    -As an audible WTF to someone who nearly creates an accident due to stupidity, mobile device operation and possibly all of the above ( backing up an off ramp because they got off at the wrong exit or the 6 lane change to make their exit.)

    I rarely honk at old people unless it’s one of the above situations. I don’t honk at highway lane blockers any more, I just pass them on the right when I have a safe option to do so and they refuse to move.

    I removed the “excuse me” horn on the Mazda 5 and installed air horns for the safety of a loud horn. It’s worked more than once to get the point across a lot quicker.

  • avatar

    Mostly, I use my horn for two reasons:

    1. Hey numbnuts, the light is green and I see you rooting around in your car and not paying attention and will probably continue to do so unless someone lets you know.

    2. Holy fuck, asshole! Why are you trying to get us both maimed/killed/otherwise severely injured.

    In most places, it tends to be the former. However, since moving to the Boston area, I find myself using it for the latter purpose far too frequently. It seems that people in Boston were not taught how to drive properly because I have never seen so many instances of “what the fuck does this dotted line on the road mean” syndrome or “fuck your right of way I am more important than you”-itis. Seriously, people in this area are absolutely insane. Worst of all, most people seem to never use their horns at all, instead opting to just suffer their indignities in silence (or at least outward silence as far as I can tell from my car on the other side of the intersection) and I suspect most offenders have no clue they did anything wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      They realize it, they just don’t care. Boston is a pretty rough place to drive. I think NY/NJ is worse, but Boston is still pretty bad. You know it’s bad when coming from the SF Bay Area, I notice how bad it is when I visit friends/family in Boston.

      The only thing that helps in Boston is knowing that everyone is an angry driver trying to screw you over. It’s predictable, and you can use that to try to stay safe. Near SF it’s a lot more incompetence and not paying attention. Drivers are more considerate, just bad. It makes them unpredictable, and I find that scary.

      • 0 avatar

        I am not so sure that people realize it because they always get this really perplexed look on their face when I hit the horn as they slam on their brakes to avoid violating my right of way. I think people around here are just ignorant of driving laws and that ignorance seems to know no race, gender, or economic bounds.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      I sure am glad you moved there. It’s about time they had a refresher course in Driver’s Ed.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    If I’m behind the wheel of a high status car, I use the horn like the Alpha male I am. I never turn down the offer to remind you of my power position.

    If I’m behind the wheel of a low status jalopy, I use the horn like the powerless Omega male gimp I am. I never turn down the offer to lash out at those who control my fate.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Bravo! Redolent of Mark Leyner’s Piranha 793 in Et Tu, Babe.

      • 0 avatar
        kuponoodles

        I give it a function check every morning, FDR North entrance at 96th street. Theres always a traffic guy there in the morning. So you have to pay attention to the light and the guy in the bright fucking yellow reflective jacket.
        There are 3 lanes. The one to the right is right turn, i.e. south bound only. The left and middle lanes are for left hand turns to the north bound. One of these 3 things will always happen and where i would use the horn.

        1- people can’t read or can’t figure out if they want to go left north our right south and will try to move 2 lanes over.
        2- people can’t seem to understand that even if the light is red, but the traffic guy is waving the cars ahead of you, that you should us that pedal on the right.
        3- the fucktard who does the speed limit when literally everyone is speeding, and refuses to speed up or move over.

        Any generally – any limo/hired car driver that dont know hat to pull over. Yellow cabs are actually ok. Its the other car service types that unnecessarily 3

        The drunk or texting or little miss I got my hoodie up cuz it makes me look younger.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I only use my horn if another driver and their car want to occupy the same space as me and my car. I honk my horn to tell them that I’d prefer it if they didn’t

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    If you live in the PNW, the answer is ‘never.’

    Pick-n-Pull sells horns for $5 each, and you can still salvage the four-note hornsets off of 1990s Cadillacs and Buicks (which sell for $80-100 per set on Ebay).

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    “My crime? A not so near-miss that occurred while I was making a left turn across traffic from a side street into a center turn lane.”

    This is actually illegal in some places; I know it is technically illegal to use the left turn lane as a warm-up lane in Michigan. What if the Buick driver had been preparing to enter the left turn lane to do a left turn?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    In my area, we never use the horn to let people into traffic. We either wave them in or flash our headlamps, whichever is most appropriate.

    Now the only time that I ever get to use the horn is when someone in front of me fails to notice that the light has turned green, and even then, a gentle tap will do, and only after nine or ten seconds of waiting around. Usually they realize the light is green before I have the chance to honk at them. When someone’s about to run into me, my reflexes are usually too busy swerving the car out of the way, and I have no time for the horn. Overall, I’m very self conscious about the possibility of looking like an aggressive jerk on the road, so I try not to tailgate people, fly around them or blast my horn at them.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      You’ve described my rule and frequency almost exactly. If I’m moving I’d rather maneuver to avoid them than assume the horn will cause the first appropriate response I’ve seen from them. The exception for me is when trapped in a parking lot and someone decides to back out or back up without looking. If there’s no where to go (or nowhere to go that doesn’t endanger soft targets) I honk, but with no expectation it will help.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Nine or 10 seconds is generous. That can easily cost someone an extra cycle.

      How quickly I honk at lights depends on if I can see the driver in front of me. If their head is down clearing looking at a cell phone or digging in the glove box or some other activity that indicates a strong chance they aren’t paying attention and will sit there indefinitely if I don’t do something, they get the horn almost immediately. If someone just needs to snap out of a trance, they get 3-5 seconds, depending on my mood.

      At lights it’s just a quick tap.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    There are videos on YouTube of a XJ Cherokee (I think Cherokee?) driving around terrorizing citizens with a damned train horn.

    It gets old watching the videos after a while, but the first few unsuspecting victims of the train horn is absolute comedy gold.

    One very nonchalant small car and one massive train horn should be plenty of a reminder to kindly MOVE YOUR A$S out of the way.

    Yup. It’s official I must have a train horn. Now.

    • 0 avatar
      Andrew717

      I used to work with a woman who had equipped her car with the horn off a tugboat. Had to mount it in the trunk. We worked on the 21st floor and we could hear it clearly when she tooted it for us once. We were afraid someone would shoot her.

  • avatar
    lozz

    I don’t know if my aw11′s horn even works anymore. I tried it once when I bought the car and haven’t used it again for the last decade.

    In a real emergency with another car, I’m much too busy using the other controls, correcting the situation, to bother with blowing the useless horn.

    It’s much better to spot the real idiots before they get to involve you in their madness, anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “In a real emergency with another car, I’m much too busy using the other controls, correcting the situation, to bother with blowing the useless horn.”

      We’re of one accord on this issue. Honking the horn still causes you to rely on that other person to remedy the situation. Braking or swerving out of the way puts *you* in control.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I never let myself use my horn in anger. People are stressed enough as it is, I don’t need to be adding to it. However, I do use the horn in 3 situations:

    1) I like small cars. The largest car I have ever owned was a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe. I live in Texas, and I am very much the small mammalian rodent in the land of brontosaurus sized trucks. I use my horn any time I think that another driver should be alerted that I am nearby. For example, the pickup truck that was backing out of his parking space. He started to back up more than I anticipated so I honked. Not because I was annoyed, but because I wasn’t 100% sure he knew I was there.

    2) Sometimes I will honk to wake someone up sitting at a green light.

    3) This one IS me being a jerk I admit. If someone for example is in the go-straight only lane but made a mistake and wants to go left. They will sit in the lane waiting to go left. I will honk to try and nudge/public shame them into going straight. I won’t honk long, if it’s clear that they aren’t going to take heed I stop and just wait/go around.

    Also, I use a somewhat distinctive honk. I don’t just stand my palm on the horn. I give three short toots. If more is needed I pause and repeat. Toot-toot-toot toot-toot-toot and so on. This also leads to some interesting preferences that I have in interior ergonomics. I don’t like steering wheels with the great big horn pad in the center. I prefer what I call “gun trigger” style horn controls like what are on my ’86 RX-7 and my dad’s ’97 CR-V. Where instead of the big fat horn pad there are two small buttons on the steering wheel spokes placed under your thumbs.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “Where instead of the big fat horn pad there are two small buttons on the steering wheel spokes placed under your thumbs.”

      My ’97 Jetta has those. I’m still not used to them.

      • 0 avatar
        Dieselkopf

        I had a ’98 Jetta, same deal with the thumb buttons. I still miss those. Give me the the ability to honk while I’m maneuvering over radio controls in that spot any day. Here around Houston, I have more use for the horn in a small car in a sea of giant trucks than controls for the radio on the steering wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I used to have a Honda with the spoke buttons. I absolutely hated them. I’d almost always trip them when I’d palm the wheel parallel parking which was annoying. The rare times I actually wanted the horn, they were much too small and fidgety to reflexively hit while making an evasive maneuver.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        I have the two buttons on my 1995 F150. When I first got the truck, I kept hitting the horn by accident.

        I think I really ticked off a couple in a Pontiac that way. The way they drove after that, though- they deserved it.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        Weird, I have had thumb buttons on a number of cars before. My RSX now has a pad (I prefer thumb buttons but won’t kick a car out of bed for having a pad-style horn), but when I had the buttons I never had a problem with accidentally hitting them. I wonder what is different about my grip.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          Thank God we stopped that whole “horn by pushing the signal lever” that appeared during the Malaise era. I can’t remember what car my folks had that was like that, might have been the 81 Escort or the 86 Tempo. Pretty sure it was a Ford though, I remember the font being a Ford font.

          I think it was a Euro thing, but I could be wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        Fortunately for me, I usually only turn on the fricking radio that way, with that over-sensitive stupid little volume roller.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I blow my horn at idiots ahead of me who don’t signal when turning. Almost nothing I hate more.

    Also once I was driving down a 50-mph highway at about 55. I was the only car in at least 800 yards front and back. It was about 3:00pm. There were a few houses and driveways on the HW and I could see a GMC Envoy waiting to pull out and turn right. I thought he would wait for me to pass before pulling out as there was absolutely no traffic. Wrong. The imbecile pulls out 100 yards ahead of me and does not speed up. I slammed by breaks and horn, giving him a good 45 second blast. I followed him for another 5 minutes honking and trying to get him to pull over, but he didn’t.

    Only time I have ever done anything like that.

    • 0 avatar
      brainy435

      Nothing I hate more than someone who comes to a complete stop in the middle of the road… THEN signals while turning. They always get a blast.

      Only other times I use it are for idiots who run a red light and interrupt my turn (with a green turn arrow) and people who insist they have to get in front of my car when no one is behind me, then decide to take a leisurely drive at 10 under the limit.

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        That shit is SO annoying… It sucks for pretty much everybody else in traffic. I could be a pedestrian looking to cross the road, over at the other side of the crossing you’re approaching — and since Mr What’s That Funny Little Lever For is not blinking, I stay put, resigned to letting him pass. Then he turns left or right at the crossing — perhaps blinking *as* he is turning; perhaps not even then — and I realise I could have crossed the street ages ago… But by that time, the car approaching from the other direction, before wich I could easily have crossed if only mr Fuckwit had let me know when I could have started, is of course close enough that I cannot, anymore. Perhaps at the head of a fricking column of traffic, so mr Why Should I Let You Know My Plans will cost me not five seconds, nor ten, but half a minute. Or a whole one.

        Likewise if I am, say, a bicyclist coming up behind you, getting off a bus on the other side of the street, in my car coming up straight against you… Fricking *everybody* in traffic can potentially be inconvenienced as Hell by inconsiderate arseheules too lazy or stupid to use their bleeding blinkers.

        Those Fockers shouldn’t just be honked at, but hung, drawn and quartered. Then shot. And *then* honked at: At their funeral, lest they or their loved ones think they deserve some solemn dignified send-off.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I generally don’t use my horn if flashing my high beams gets the point across. I feel like there is no sense disturbing everyone else around me for someone’s boneheaded decision.
    I will honk if it’s clear someone isn’t going to go on a green light, though I try to do a quick ‘toot’ instead of a ‘blayrm!’ just to get them to look up.

    The last time I was honked at, so I know your pain Thomas, was while in a dedicated right turn lane having signaled well ahead since people can proceed beyond my turn destination to others and they drive really fast in the lane. As I began to apply my brakes to make the turn into the entrance the woman behind me honked at me. I was both furious and bewildered as I have no idea what she thought was happening.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      You surprised her. She had just looked up from texting. Or loading her gun.

    • 0 avatar
      zaxxon25

      Surprised it took so long to find someone else who just flashes their lights. I find that’s just as effective at alerting those texting drivers who sit at a green light or stop sign. For me, it avoids the noise pollution of honking.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    This is an easy one:

    1. Sitting at a light, the light turns, the driver in front of me doesn’t move because they’re playing with their phone, yakking with their passenger, or just not paying attention. This most often happens in a left turn lane. Pay attention to the signals! Usually a gentle toot is all it takes, but every once in a great while, they need a good blast to wake them up. I sure am embarrassed when I’m the one at fault, too. Fortunately, that rarely happens.

    2. When driving and someone wanders in my lane and gets too close for comfort. I honk them to let them know to watch it.

  • avatar
    Justice_Gustine

    Often as possible in this tourist town. Right about now tourists are in season in Monterey CA. Drivers drifting out of their lanes, stopping to comprehend the GPS, driving too slow, driving too fast, sitting at green lights and so on. And remember, no left turns on the main road to the Aquarium – you’ll get 5 seconds or more blocking traffic to make a left.

    My uncle would say “If your’e gonna milk it, PARK IT”.

    And on occasion in the tunnel.

    It’s a PIAA high note horn, not what one would expect in a GM W body. If it’s a real bad move that deserves a long honk I’ll lean on both the PIAA and the OEM horns.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      “stopping to comprehend the GPS”

      Yeah WTF is up with that one? How mother lovin STOOPID can people be to just come to a COMPLETE STOP in the midst of moving traffic? If you’re unsure, pull the fuck over and get your bearings straight.

      People like that should have been a blowjob.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Just get a train horn and eliminate all that complexity.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Frequently, and in anger.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    As little as possible.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I mostly use mine in the driveway, like when I’m ready to go and we are already 5 minutes late and the rest of the family is nowhere to be seen.

    I visited India several years ago, there the horns are used as frequently as the gas pedal.

    • 0 avatar
      modemjunki

      I’ve also been to India (Bangalore) multiple times. I’ve been advised that a car without a working horn is too dangerous to drive in that country and would most likely be parked until the horn was repaired. The horn is an art form in that dense traffic. It’s used as reverse sonar to indicate the imminence of contact in the crush of commuter time and as a signal when approaching intersections after hours. Each vehicle type seemingly has a range of notes – truck, bus, car, auto-rickshaw, motorcycle, scooter – an audible pecking order arranged by mass, number of wheels, and square footprint.

      A late evening had me witness a solitary car traveling down the road at 3AM with the driver diligently beeping at approaching intersections, not another vehicle to be seen.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Happy hello “toots” are likely to come when I’m in my Mustang.

    Angry blasts, my F150 or when some asshat pulls out in front of my wife’s 2005 Vibe in orange like they didn’t see it.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Last time I used it was a year ago to honk at a turkey to get out of the road. Generally I use it when someone blows a stop sign or pulls out in front of me too close, but usually the moment is already gone by the time it occurs to me to honk.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      I’ve used mine to alert turkeys trotting across the highway but I’ve noticed that they inevitably aren’t really motivated until I’ve already had to brake and they can hear or see me bearing down upon them. I can’t think of a single day that I haven’t seen a dead deer, dog, raccoon, squirrel, or turkey on my commute. I’ve blasted deer and dogs, too. The local fauna are the primary reason I won’t use cruise control on the highways.

  • avatar
    Victorian80000

    Tonight some SOB in a pickup turned at the wrong farmhouse. He backs out in front of me on a 55-MPH limit rural highway. He then puts his blinker on and slowwwwly turns into the seemingly correct farmhouse. And I mean slow. In the dark. In the rain. With near-tornadic winds. I honked the horn and he honks back? Yeah, way to wake your hosts, dumb a$$.

    Last week I was waiting to turn right at a red light. The two lanes of oncoming traffic had a speed limit of 55. Some little puke in a souped-up Saturn races up behind me and lays on the horn. I stuck my middle finger in the air until the traffic was clear, and went ahead. He runs the red light and races right behind me (his POS screaming to all he]], my full-sized car much more gracefully getting to speed). Of course I brake-checked the little b!tch and he backed off.

    First post. I was mad enough ;)

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Gentle tap for an unnoticed green light. No biggie, we all do it.

    Full on blast if said person is visibly looking at a phone, burger, makeup mirror.

    Full blast for people that slow way down a block before their turn and then brake to 10mph within the travel lane instead of using the center turn lane. I’m grouchy. My VW’s horn is good and loud. It’s a bad combination.

    Ten full seconds of burn-in-hell blast for the moron on the cell phone who pulled across my lane for a left turn, causing me to stop in the travel lane while he was still halfway into the center turn lane because he couldn’t both steer and hold a phone. And then gave me the finger for honking at him.

    The front end of my car barreling through his driver’s door at 40mph would have been a better response in retrospect, but you never get a second chance at these things, do you?

  • avatar
    stevbrei

    Driving in Denver, I use my horn on a daily basis, usually multiple times a day. I’ve also realized that driving a car with a single-note horn is dangerous. A simple, friendly “beep” on the horn to let someone know “Hey, check your mirror, I’m over here” doesn’t do anything. They just look and say “Oh, isn’t that cute?” In any vehicle with a single-note horn, you have to lean on it for at least 10 seconds to get anyone to pay the slightest bit of attention.

    • 0 avatar
      jd418197

      Yes. Denver drivers – usually not getting it done. I use my horn daily for lane drifters. Drifting into my lane at 65 is NOT a small deal; it’s life-threatening. Just pay attention.

  • avatar
    matador

    89% of the time to alert drivers who may back into me.

    10% when I’m backing my box truck (for safety, I tap it twice)

    1% reserved for complete *********’s.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    How do I use my horn? Very sparingly. The last time I used it is when another vehicle tried to go out of turn at a four-way stop. I’d gotten to the intersection before the other guy, who was perpendicular to my right, but both of us had to wait for a left-turning car to clear (who had been oncoming to me, now turning onto the street to my right). We both started rolling at about the same time, so I gave a quick toot of my horn to remind the other guy it was my turn. He dutifully backed off to let me proceed. It was a dark and rainy night, so hand gestures would have been nearly impossible to see.

    Other situations in which I’ve had to give a quick horn tap:
    Driver ahead of me brakes to make a turn (usually a right turn), but fails to signal.
    Driver next to me edges toward/into my lane without looking.
    Driver to my left tries to make a right turn without signaling, without looking, and without being in the right-most lane (my lane).
    Pedestrian starts crossing against the light and without checking for traffic (that’s me).

    The last time I was honked at, I was waiting to make a left turn at a signal-controlled intersection without a protected left turn arrow. Like any good driver, I put my indicator on before I began braking, and I pulled into the intersection to wait for a safe break in the oncoming traffic. Some asshole behind me honked when a small gap appeared and I failed to turn. (The gap was too small; the timing, too risky.) Without looking back, I held my hand up, middle finger extended.

    Another time I was honked at, I was sitting in traffic at a green light waiting for traffic ahead of me to move so I could pull forward without getting stuck in the intersection and “blocking the box”. As I waited, I saw the pedestrian timer count down, and then, sure enough, the traffic light went from green to yellow. Someone on a scooter behind me beeped for me to go, but it was too late. Instead of the finger, I just held my hand up dismissively.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I’ve never considered the horn something equivalent to the middle finger that might incite violence. I guess everywhere I’ve lived people honk often enough that it’s acceptable.

    I probably use it most often in parking lots. I hate doing it because it draws a lot of attention and frightens pedestrians too, but I run into a lot of people backing up without looking, and there aren’t always a lot of escape options in parking lots.

    Second most common usage is when someone wanders into my lane. Many drivers leave their lane every time there is a slight bend in the road, and can use a quick reminder that they don’t have the whole highway to themselves. I do my best to stay away from them in the first place, but it isn’t up to me if traffic is heavy enough.

    I do try to restrict my usage to situations where letting someone know I’m there might actually help.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    I’m reading all the comments and nodding, “Yeah, yeah and yeah”, then I suddenly realize that horn in my F350 stopped working a while back. Gotta rip out that fender liner and fix that notorious corroded connector and do some beepin’.

  • avatar
    piro

    Honestly? Almost never.

    Live in England, though, if that makes any difference. Sometimes you see a total cu*t that makes you want to, but I almost never bother, because what good will it do? It’ll make me stressed, it’ll make them more stressed, bleh.

    Not worth it.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I’m not sure if I have a horn. I’ll check.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    My Fiamm air horns are primarily an audible middle finger. I can’t tolerate having only an apologetic-sounding OE car horn when I want to curse someone out.

    I gave them a good ten-second spring blowout a couple weeks ago when a woman in an SUV wasn’t paying enough attention to realize that she’d be blocking a busy intersection during rush hour when her light turned red. The lane to her right was open, but she seemed oblivious even to that.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    Oddest use of a horn ever… Buddy and I were waiting for his girlfriend to bring her Dodge Shadow up from a four story parking garage. She would honk her horn before rounding the corner for every ramp. We could hear her all the way up… vroom, *meep*, squeal, vroom, *meep*, squeal, etc.. Cause, you know, honking your horn gives you right of way.

    Worst use of a horn, driving in Buffalo, NY. Stuck in a long line of cars trying to turn left into a shopping mall. Guy behind me keeps honking his horn. At a red light? Trying to intimidate the light into changing? When it finally turns, gridlock has the intersection blocked, and he keeps on honking. Was wondering if there something wrong with my car he was trying to warn me about, but once in the parking lot, he passes me and goes on to badger the next guy in his way.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I use mine too much:

    1. Sitting at a stoplight for no reason while its green.

    2. Merging into my lane, forgetting that I’m sort of beside you

    3. Pulling out in front of me at an obscenely slow speed.

    4. WALKING out in front of me or far too close to my car, you can say that I’m making people def, but if their senses were any good to start with they wouldn’t big walking out within fingers touch by a big black Volvo.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    It absolutely amazes me about human nature, and here is MAYBE another example of it. However there aren’t enough facts to be sure.

    What do I mean? Obviously its about people who are the Initiator of a problem situation and who steadfastly refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Its always the responder who is at fault! Its not well enough explained in the story, except that you were the start of it.

    “desire to follow the old man home and bludgeon him to death with his own walker reasonable, or unreasonable”? You have to ask that? Stop discriminating, take responsibility for your actions instead. Disgusting.

  • avatar
    amarks

    I installed a pair of Hella Supertones in my Subaru, though in black so they aren’t visible through the grille. Knowing how loud my horns are tends to make me much more conservative in using them. That being said, I do use the horns when someone changes lanes into me without looking or signaling…the result is usually that the other car ends up right back in the lane they started in, and the driver looks visibly startled.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I will honk to let somebody know that the light has turned green, after about 10 seconds where they don’t appear in a big hurry to get moving, or if somebody is wandering into my lane and I have no place to go. If somebody is wandering into my lane, and I have nowhere to go, I will honk to alert them that I’m right there. Otherwise I change my placement to avoid a collision.

    I’m of the opinion that if you have time to honk, you have time to change course.

    I also honk coming out of the garage at work, which is on a fairly steep incline. I do this to alert pedestrians that I’m coming up the ramp and that they should be on the lookout because I wouldn’t necessarily be able to see them on my way up.

    EDIT: It doesn’t make any real sense to honk for much because most on the road aren’t aware of what the horn is used for. It’s similar to flashing. My friend flashes for any and every reason under the sun. I usually have no clue why he’s flashing.

  • avatar
    onyxtape

    I use it in 3 cases:

    - Dangerous drivers around my neighborhood. I see it as education for the countless parents who drop off their kids at the nearby elementary school then speed off and ignore all stop signs in the neighborhood where many kids are walking to that very same school.

    - Texters at the newly green light.

    - There’s a U-turn-allowed left turn lane where the U-turn capability is solely dedicated to our trophy wife mall (on 8th to the Bravern in Bellevue, WA for those in the area). At rush hour, there will almost always be someone there holding up the left turn lane so they can U-turn into the mall but the traffic going the opposite side will block them from making a U-turn (they could just left turn instead and go in via another entrance, but they want to U-turn because it’s a little closer). There I like to public shame them by using the lean-horn.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      - Dangerous drivers around my neighborhood. I see it as education for the countless parents who drop off their kids at the nearby elementary school then speed off and ignore all stop signs in the neighborhood where many kids are walking to that very same school.

      This a million times and while you’re at it, parking lots. I do my damn best not speed in residential areas. 25mph to me is too fast in some places, especially a narrow street with on-street parking and/or kids playing. The risk of going faster is too great.

      There are signs I’ve seen in neighborhoods that people use as a cut through that say “Drive like YOUR kids live here”. You can crawl up my ass all you want in a residential zone, I’m not going any faster than the speed limit.

      The same people that fly through residential zones,possibly while texting, would have a cow s**ing a brick if they saw someone on the news hit someones kid while being drunk, speeding,etc. But they think nothing of half throttle, first 3 gears acceleration to 35+ only to stop at another stop sign in 1000ft.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I’m convinced the people doing 15 over in school zones are the same people driving slower than traffic in the left lane.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Not really..the same people who pay the most attention to underposted numbers on signs are gonna do it everywhere! The dolt who is plodding along at 18mph in a 20mph school zone (after the kids are in school, and no cops around) is the same person who then proceeds to the adjacent freeway onramp and enters said freeway at 47mph at the end of the ** ACCELERATION ** lane, of course never intending to drive beyond the underposted 65mph limit; never mind that the traffic on said freeway is moving along at 70+, and the poor folks in line behind said “morality police” are in danger of getting punted into low-Earth orbit by someone coming up to said onramp at said reasonable-and-prudent 70+ who isn’t paying attention. (And I can barely handle 20mph when behind one of these folks in Ohio without turning on my Accord’s “ECO” mode, which dulls the throttle response; I can’t imagine a school limit of 15mph, as I’ve seen in New York state, or elsewhere! At that point, I will literally put the car in Neutral, then get out and push it!)

          Then of course, this same dolt will eventually decide to teach a lesson to those of us who wish to go five-over or so by pulling out right in front of me to “pass” the truck they were following..despite the fact that there isn’t another car in the entire * ZIP * code behind me, and that they couldn’t have waited one more second! Of course, they don’t bother to PASS! (Not to mention that they’ve now managed to gum up the ENTIRE freeway, assuming they’re truly a “left-lane bandit.”) It’s not your job to enforce the speed limit, so if you insist on following the limit to the letter, keep things moving for the rest of us by staying out of the passing lane!

          These idiots get a good blast of my horn in these situations; laggards at green lights get a couple blinks of my brights, followed by a “hey, you, WAKE UP!” toot! (If * I * am the offender at a light, as if I’ve pulled up too far to see the light while attempting to turn right on red, I’ll hold up my hand after the toot, just for acknowledgement’s sake.)

          Those of you in England or Europe in general: is use of the horn illegal in certain situations? You tend to see a lot more use of flash-to-pass brights there.

  • avatar
    cornellier

    Not in the habit of using it much, having driven in Europe for many years where it is under most circumstances illegal. Now that I’m in North America my main use of the horn is a polite beep beep just before the blind spot when passing on the right on three-lane highways. Where I live the right lane is basically an extended on-off ramp, the middle lane is for “cruising” and the left lane is, uh, also for “cruising”, usually at whatever speed you fancy.

    I know there’s a lot of Righteous Vigilantes who think it’s OK to rebuke other motorists with rude honking. It’s not, any more than it’s OK to shout abuse at people in the grocery store checkout who are too slow with their wallets and carts. Get a grip, people.

    As for using the horn to “avoid an accident” I’d far prefer to keep both hands on the wheel thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “It’s not, any more than it’s OK to shout abuse at people in the grocery store checkout who are too slow with their wallets and carts.”

      That’s not okay? It seems I’ve not been raised properly.


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