Blowing the Horn to Avoid a Crash?
I’m pretty sure that in most states the car horn is expected to be in working order. In New York it’s part of the inspection process. But, what purpose does it serve? Why do people blow their horns? Many use it as a way of yelling at another driver. But I want to talk to those people who say they use it to avoid a crash.
The truth is when you blow your horn, YOU are NOT trying to avoid a crash. What you’re doing is trying to shift the responsibility to someone else to avoid the crash – either because you feel you can’t or just don’t want to. Either way, that’s unacceptable.
Let’s take a look at this scenario. You’re approaching an intersection and you don’t have stop sign but the driver on the cross street does. But, it doesn’t look like he’s going to stop. So you blow your horn to avoid a crash. But, are YOU really trying to avoid the crash? If the other driver heeds your warning and stops, there will be no crash. But, if the other driver ignores you totally and proceeds into the intersection, there might very well be a crash. This is just one example where using the horn can get you killed. Horns don’t stop cars – yours or theirs.
Now why wouldn’t the driver with the stop sign listen to your horn and stop? Well, maybe he/she didn’t hear your horn. Do you ever think about the fact that the person you’re blowing the horn at, doesn’t hear it? The other person might be deaf. Oh, you didn’t know that deaf people drive cars? Yes, they do and the reason they can get a license is because they happen to be the best drivers on the road. Since they can’t hear anything, they have to see everything. And, they do. They are always watchful, observant, and cautious.
But, you see, when I said the other driver with the stop sign might be deaf, I wasn’t talking about a “deaf” person. A deaf driver would see you long before you saw him/her and would never threaten you. When I said the other driver might be deaf, I was talking about someone who can hear but is “deaf,” because the windows are rolled up, the heater is blowing, the entertainment center is blasting, and there might be ten friends in the back seat doing a rap. That makes the other driver just as deaf as a deaf person, but not as cautious.
Drivers really need to rethink horn-blowing. New York City has banned horn-blowing. Now why would the city ban a safety device? Because, it’s not a safety device! It may have been a safety device once upon a time in a land far away, but it’s been so abused that now it’s just noise pollution and people don’t take it seriously.
Then there’s something else to think about. One of the many syndromes in driving is “when I do it, it’s OK, but when you do it, it’s not okay. In other words, if you don’t signal, no big deal, but if they don’t signal, holy hell breaks loose. Isn’t it the same with horn-blowing? When you blow the horn, others should listen to you and heed your warning. But, how do you react when others blow their horn at you. Do you say, “Thank you?” Or give them the finger? Sure, when you blow the horn it’s very important. But, when they blow the horn, “Who the hell is he to be telling me how to drive/” Well, I’ve got news for you; others don’t care too much about your horn either.
Next time you truly want to avoid a crash, try using the brake. That will work since you will be taking charge of the situation and there will be no need to blow the horn. You will be accepting the responsibility to avoid crashing.