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Chacham's Journal: Verbiage: Honking the car's horn, and if it helps. 6

Journal by Chacham

Cars have horns, and depending on one's location, it is often overused. What is the point of the horn?

When younger, i used the horn as an anxiety release. More recently, a friend that has a horn that really doesn't make much noise, when frustrated really slams the horn. When questioned as to why he does that, he replied that it simply lets off steam. It doesn't really matter if the other person hears it. Good point.

I'm more reluctant to honk. When people honk at me i go on defense, as if the honker meant that honk seriously. I don't want to put others in that situation, so i am reluctant to honk. Recently, when driving with a friend, an older person was cutting into my lane. He told me to honk. I asked what it would help.

Some time ago, someone (iirc, my younger brother) suggested that honking is useless. If against a youngster, he'll just get offended and fight back. If against a senior, he'll get nervous and scared, and probably drive worse until he calms down. If against anyone else, he'll probably suppress it, go home and beat his wife and kids, or take it out on a friend or co-worker. As such, honking has negative implications, and very little positive ones.

There is no question that honking is good at times. The person who backs up and doesn't see you (especially when you are going too quickly to stop out of their way) must be notified about this. A honk does it, and is acceptable for the safety involved. Yet still, when i receive it, i feel the urge to feel offended. It's almost as if i wish there were two horns. One with a loud annoying sound to bother the other person (which of course should never be used), and the other a softer or gentler sound, such as the princess in SMB2, for the purpose of notification.

In summary, i think horns are much too overused, there should be a softer variant, and people should have some other form of stress relief.

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Verbiage: Honking the car's horn, and if it helps.

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  • When I was studying for my Minnesota driver's exam, the driver's manual mentioned that the horn is only to be used in cases of emergency. I tend to agree with that, except for cases when someone is not paying attention to a short light (witnessed this a couple days ago).

    Then again, I have probably only used my horn once out of necessity, and only ever been honked at a couple times.
    • the driver's manual mentioned that the horn is only to be used in cases of emergency.

      Really? That's good. I just find that strange for them to get it correctly! :)

      I tend to agree with that, except for cases when someone is not paying attention to a short light

      Yeah. The attention grabber. It works. Though, personally, i'd prefer rallying the driver with nerf darts. :P
  • While honking rarely helps get stopped traffic to move, honking is useful to alert other drivers.

    Like the backing-up example, when the car in the other lane doesn't notice he's merging into YOU, a honk helps. Sometimes honking reminds cell phone abusers their conversation does not keep lights red ('Oh, it's green now? How'd that happen?').

    Even in evil stuck traffic -- when the driver stops mid-street to wait for the woman chatting in front of the hair salon -- honking at least gives some indication to th
    • king at least gives some indication to the cars behind you that YOU aren't the one tying things up

      Good point.

      and *might* annoy the chatters enough to bring their conversation to an end ... but I'm reluctant to use the horn for those reasons. First, it adds to rudeness, and second, I expect drivers with that level of arrogance to be the most likely to shoot honkers.

      Bingo! ...

      Thanx for the story.

      Horns are good at saying, "Look at me!", but horns don't improve how others drive.

      Agreed. Though, if j
  • I had to come to the same conclusion as yours: that we need more than one kind of horn. A lot of times it's used just in a friendly way to get a friend's attention in the other lane so you can wave to them. We need a "friendly" horn, a "move!" horn, a "watch out" horn, and maybe a few others. Right now, the horn is like a dog's bark. Bark (I'm hungry), bark (ooh female dog), bark (stranger entering!), bark (it's hot), bark (it's cold), etc. What are you trying to say?

    Another major problem is that there's

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