I was surprised to see criticism in the Star’s Wheels column of people who blip their horns. I think most of us don’t use our car horns nearly often enough. I also think those who do use their horns are often people who should hold their tempers instead.
Skid School, years ago. 40 kmph speed zone, kids playing on the street, lots of irregularly parked cars. I’m driving a Dodge Caravan in a ‘test of how we actually drive in the real world’ evaluation.
I slow down, and as I approach the playing kids, I beep the horn – just a tap – not to scare the kids or startle them, but to make sure they realize there is a vehicle coming behind them.
Later at evaluation the instructor says, this was a very good thing to do. The other student drivers looked a bit sheepish, as I guess they never give a gentle warning hoot.
Driving on a street, car backing up from a driveway. Will it stop in time? Does the driver see me? A gentle beep saying, I’m here, is imho a good defensive manoeuver. Driving on the highway, car veers out of its lane toward us. Asleep? On cell phone? Deliberate lane change? A gentle beep, I’m here, is what I recommend.
Honking in annoyance doesn’t accomplish much. Making another driver aware of a potential mistake is useful.
So, toot your own horn. Appropriately.