WHEN TO PRESS THE HORN… AND WHEN NOT TO

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In some countries, especially India and Pakistan, blowing the horn by car drivers is almost their second nature. Such is the cacophony on the highways and byways in these countries that a newcomer from another land sometimes finds his senses numbed in a busy part of a metropolis.

Apart from all the right reasons, people tend to blow the horn to show off their cars, to browbeat the fellow drivers, to humiliate one of them for some imaginary slight, and much more. And the thing is, more often than not no one minds and everyone takes the noise and the bleeps in his stride.

But remember that like in Europe, it is different in the Arab Gulf countries. Therefore a driver, especially the newcomers from the Sub-continent, must follow the etiquette about pressing the car horn. And the etiquette demands that you press the horn only:

lTo draw attention of a driver who you rightfully feel is not following the rules of the road. For example with the advent of the mobile phone many drivers tend to talk on the phone or use social media apps thereby
unconsciously slowing down as they proceed on a busy road. This may slow down the traffic and it is quite legitimate to press the horn to bring them to their ‘senses’ so they take notice of their surroundings.  Press the horn lightly just once or twice. Persistent or long-duration pressing of the horn is a mark of irritability and not of a gentle reminder and should
be avoided.

lTo warn a driver of your approach in case you are about to overtake his vehicle and feel he is oblivious of your move. Just press the horn once lightly.

lTo warm a pedestrian who might come in the way just as you are taking a turn into or out of a bylane. Just press the horn once lightly.

lTo fend off an ‘intruder’ trying to wrestle his way into your lane dangerously with the likelihood of causing an accident or a driver trying to enter your lane out of turn ahead of you at the red signal once it turns green. Press the horn hard a couple of times but do not persist.

lTo thank a driver in case he has given you way or has stopped to enable you to get out of an awkward situation. Just press the horn once lightly.

Remember it is bad manners to press the horn persistently in the fast lane if the driver ahead of you is maintaining the maximum allowed speed. And so is the practice of continuing to press the horn which is a mark of anger and frustration which should be avoided when you are on the highway.