Horn Etiquette

This grew from a discussion with my better half that came up over the weekend.  We had just dropped the kiddo off with my mother-in-law and were on our way home.  We’re sitting at a light with a few other cars and someone in the far right lane starts leaning on their horn at the car ahead of them.  I guess that 5-second pause to check for oncoming traffic before turning was far too long.  Which lead to me dragging out my trusty soapbox and pontificating about the appropriate use of one’s horn.  My wife, who is truly a saint for putting up with my ranting, told me this would make great blog fodder.  So here we are.

It’s my opinion that we need some written rules for using the horn.  I always figured they were just understood, but as I go along in life, I’m beginning to think that’s not the case.  Since your local DMV hasn’t published anything, allow me to post the rules.

1) Laying on the horn is obnoxious.  There it is.  You can almost guarantee you’ll look like a jackwagon any time you do it.  Especially because the guy ahead of you isn’t moving fast enough for your liking.  It IS acceptable to lay on the horn when someone cuts you off, starts moving into your lane, etc.  Lean on that sucker for a solid three count to announce your displeasure.  But that’s it.  You mouthed off, so to speak, get back to driving.  If you must continue to comment on what a moron that guy/girl is, mutter to yourself.

2) Toot the horn for all other occasions.  See someone you know?  A friendly double tap of the horn is perfectly fine.  The guy ahead of you at the light isn’t paying attention when it turns green?  Give him 5 seconds and tap the horn once.  He’ll get moving.  We’re all guilty of it, no reason to be a jerk yourself.

3) Failure to follow these simple guidelines may result in a less-than-pleasant encounter.  Don’t believe me?  Go ahead and lay on that horn every chance you get.  These are trying times for all of us.  Unemployment is high and chances are good you’ll honk at the guy who just got his pink slip.  He won’t be in the mood for your childish BS and may just get out of his car to tell you that.  With his fist.  Repeatedly.  Until the police come.

Now, you may say, “But Steve, people are rude and I’m in a hurry.”  Tough.  Doesn’t mean you have to be rude as well.  Oh, and that whole “I’m in a hurry” thing?  No one cares.  We’re all in a hurry nowadays.  Life is short and we all have far too much to get done.  Besides, if you were truly in a hurry, you would’ve left the house sooner.  Poor planning is no excuse to be a tool.

Last thought:  If you have modified your horn, these rules may be modified as well.  Notice I say “may“.  If your horn plays Dixie or La Cucaracha, you probably shouldn’t be driving.  Ever.  But that’s another complaint for another time.  However, if you’ve hooked up a PA system in place of your horn and get your kicks from the strange looks you get, then have fun.  I can’t speak for everyone else, but hearing a Honda Civic moo will always make me chuckle.

This entry was posted in General, Soapbox. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.