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When Should You Honk Your Horn?

Los Angeles Auto Accident

]Photo from Flickr http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Hoking Your Horn – Do and Don’t

It’s a sound that is all too familiar to Californians, who have to brave ever-worsening traffic on a daily basis: honk honk! The car horn, which might rightly be called the world’s first collision-avoidance system, has been around since the Ford Motor Company’s first Model T rolled off the production line. In theory, drivers use it in emergency situations to prevent crashes. However, overtime, the car horn has come to adopt many novel uses, including inter-motorist communication and even emotional expression (usually of annoyance or anger).

“Styles” of Honking

From polite tappers to mean leaners, every person has his or her own style of honking that is not only deeply personal but also cultural in nature. For instance, the masters of chaos also known as Indian drivers honk very liberally because it is a big – and sometimes the only – way to communicate on the road, whereas in Bangkok, Thailand, there is virtually no horn-honking, even in bumper to bumper traffic jams, because it is considered incredibly rude to honk unless it is absolutely necessary.

Honking styles change from town to town, city to city, and country to country. However, the question remains: is there a right and wrong way of honking? You’ll find many different voices in the honking debate, all of whom are completely convinced their way is the right way.

To Honk or Not to Honk?

At Wilshire Law Firm, our car accident attorneys believe that the general rule of thumb is to use your horn to promote safe driving. What does this mean? Well, here’s a list of honking behaviors you should avoid, not just because they can be obnoxious to other drivers, but they can be dangerous as well:

  • Don’t use your horn to vent frustration. If you don’t like someone’s driving, either get away from them, or if they’re doing something illegal, pull to the side of the road and notify the police. Aggressive horn honking can lead to road rage, and studies show that nothing ever good comes from road rage.
  • Don’t use your horn to say “What’s up?” You may think that honking at your friends is harmless and even amusing, but you may end up startling another driver into a dangerous maneuver and cause an accident.
  • Also, keep in mind that honking is illegal in some cities. Many cities in the United States have begun to crack down on honking in recent years because of the noise pollution they create. Make sure to check your local laws on honking and behave accordingly; otherwise, you might be given a costly fine.
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The bottom line is to refrain from emotional honking and to only use your horn when necessary. If everyone were to be considerate with their honking, not only would the world be a much quieter place, but it would also be a safer one.

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