traffic tuesday #13 – honking the horn
Apparently not everyone is friends with their car’s horn.
I have another friend (a non-inanimate object) who ignores this powerful ally in the fight against congestion. Last week he was driving myself and some others to lunch. Someone in front of us decided to stop their car and begin to perform an illegal u-turn in front of us. The key to this sort of manuever is to do it quickly, so traffic doesn’t have to stop and a certain someone with flashing lights doesn’t see you either.
This man apparently never got that memo.
He proceeded to block our lane of traffic with his back bumper. We slowed and then stopped in order to avoid contact with his car. All he had to do was scoot forward and we could have passed easily. But the guy just sat there blocking traffic, performing an illegal u-turn and waiting until oncoming traffic lane was clear for two miles before moving. As amazing as this is, it pales in comparison to what happened (or rather what didn’t happen) next.
My friend ignored the horn.
Maybe he was in shock. Maybe he’s just nice. Maybe his horn is broken. But there was nothing. Simply no reaction.
Other than setting the clock on your car radio, the horn is probably the most difficult, confusing and dangerous piece of equipment in your vehicle. Ignore it and you miss out on the fun. Use it too much and people think it malfunctioning. Press it down too long and the person you used it on begins to follow you home. Using the “quick tap” to let people know you need them to move for you is a just a split second away from the “road rage blast”.
Knowing when and how to use the horn is critical to an effective and enjoyable driving experience. Like anything else, perfecting use of the horn requires skill, practice and a little bit of pent up frustration. Happy honking.