Poll 30: What makes you honk?

by EPI Staff on February 1, 2012

Once in a while, everyone does it…what makes you honk your car horn?

When do you honk your car horn?

  • Warning someone who can't see you (64%, 109 Votes)
  • When you're getting cut off (25%, 42 Votes)
  • When an animal is in the way (6%, 10 Votes)
  • As a hello to a neighbor (5%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 169

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Please feel free to expand on this poll in the comments section below.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica February 1, 2012 at 11:30 am

Drivers are getting worse and worse these days, I encounter at least 2 or 3 people per drive, who have to idea how to drive and endanger everyone around them. It’s getting out of control.

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Country Girl February 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm

It might be good to keep in mind that it is illegal to use your horn for any purpose other than to express reasonable warning. You can get a ticket for honking to say hello to a neighbor, honking to get the person in front of you to go on a green light, honking to show your annoyance, honking in support of a demonstration, etc.

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Zakafury February 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm

What’s your take on honking at people who are stopped in the middle of an intersection?

My commute to work goes through a complicated intersection. I come through in a direction with little traffic, but sometimes the traffic on the major crossroad is so congested that a line of several cars will be completely blocking our way through.

Obviously they pulled into an intersection they couldn’t get out of, which is illegal, but is it fairly warning them to honk, or just expressing rage?

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Ashleigh February 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm

It makes me nuts when people honk in this situation. There’s nowhere for the light-runners/intersection cloggers to go so honking away isn’t going to do anything. On the flip side, the people who clog the intersections make me even more nuts than the honking. If you know you are not going to make it through the intersection, DONT GO!!

I have to admit, I am one of those who will honk at the person who doesn’t move at the green light. There is nothing on this planet more irritating than the person who evidently decided to set up a full game of monopoly at a red light and continue playing all the way through the green. When the light turns green, make sure nobody ran the red and GO. You don’t need to count to 100 first, you don’t need to call home and make sure it’s ok, you don’t need to finish your newspaper, just go!!

Can you tell I’m a little more than sick of my commute??

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Winifred Rosenburg February 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I too honk at people sitting at green lights, but only after counting three seconds. It has become a trend in my neighborhood for people to literally keep their hands on the horn and slam it at soon as the light turns green, which drives me crazy. But if I actually space out and someone honks, I don’t take it personally. I also think it makes a difference if you try to make your honk a “friendly tap of the horn” in these cases and not holding it down or hitting it several times.

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Ashleigh February 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Agreed! I used to live in NYC on a very busy intersection so we would constantly hear the completely unnecessary hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonk the INSTANT the light turned green. I always get nervous moving the second the light turns as there have been many instances where that would have gotten me hit by a light runner so I’ll give the person the benefit of a few seconds before they receive the wrath of my irritation ;) A quick toot of the horn gets their attention and gets traffic moving.

Country Girl February 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I’m certainly guilty of “green means go!” honk, but I have heard of people getting ticketed about $60 in a rural area and $350 in NYC for it. Guess it’s like going over the speed limit; everyone does it once in a while, you are just in charge of weighing your own consequences.

In answer to your question Zakafury, I don’t know exactly what qualifies as a reasonable warning. But I would think you might be able justify some types of annoyed honks by saying you were warning the driver of a danger. Ie. Well officer, he was blocking the intersection and I wanted to warn him that traffic was coming and he might be in danger of being hit. (I don’t honestly know if that would work or not, probably depends on the officer, but I think you could make a good case for it.) You might not find it worth the potential hassle and potential ticket though, especially if you’re driving in New York!

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Just Laura February 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm

In NYC “blocking the box” is a far more ticket-able offense than honking. Around here, honking is not illegal, and I do the polite toot of the horn for those failing to go at a green. Once it was done to me, and I waved my thanks at the person who was simply letting me know that I should be paying attention.
(I lived at 33 West 3rd.) ;)

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Ashleigh February 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

I wish they would have enforced both the honking and the blocking the box infractions more. A 45 second horn blare at 2 in the morning was less than welcome. As is waiting 13 light cycles because a bus decided to block the entire intersection.

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