Honking: Is It Really Necessary to Honk?

Honking is not my cup of tea.

I rarely blow the horn in the streets.  And for a good reason.

Firstly, it adds to noise pollution, and secondly…

Roads in residential areas are meant for pedestrians. And it’s a miracle that you’re allowed to ride a bike or drive a car in the streets. I’d rather say it’s a privilege.

But have I always been like that—a non-honking guy?

Nope. I also used to honk like crazy, but later, I realized my foolishness.

It was 1992:

One of my friends taught me to ride a scooter.

It took him only a couple of hours to make me understand how things work. And after that, I was supposed to practice as much as I could. But, since it was a new experience for me, I was not confident enough initially. In fact, I thought that the only way to alert people on the streets was by honking. And that’s why I used to blow the horn like a maniac.

So, essentially, honking started as a precautionary measure to avoid collisions.

As time went by, my confidence grew, and within 3-4 months, I was confident enough to ride the scooter even on busy roads.

Unfortunately, the “honking habit” stuck with me. So I started blowing horns even in empty streets or even at odd hours like early morning or late at night.

(I still don’t know why 🙄 )

Honking Irritates Like Anything

I purchased my first motorbike in 2007, and then somehow, I started questioning my honking habit—I started imagining how peaceful the world could be if people stopped honking.

And then something unexpected happened.

I started getting irritated when people honked on my back unnecessarily, which eventually made me realize that others felt the same when I blew the horn needlessly.

And then, I realized another surprising fact: blowing the horn is necessary only 2 out of 10 times.

Let me explain.

Generally, it would help if you blew the horn when:

  • You’re about to approach a blind curve and cannot see what lies in front of you.
  • The fog is quite dense, and you can’t see a thing, so along with the headlights on, you can keep blowing the horn to alert people.
  • You’re passing through an area at night where streetlights are missing or not functioning, and you want to alert others.
  • It would be best to alert seniors walking or crossing busy streets because many senior citizens develop hearing issues.
  • You suspect that the children passing the street are not attentive enough. Most of the time, they are too immersed in talking with each other when crossing roads. In fact, at times, they aren’t even aware of where they’re walking. So blowing the horn to grab their attention is a good idea.

Now the question is:

  • Is there a blind curve on every road?
  • Are there seniors everywhere walking down the streets?
  • Have all the children started walking on roads only?

If not, then why do we honk?

Mind you, honking is not the same as blowing the horn. Instead, it is the act of blowing the horn unnecessarily.

Let Me Take You Back to the Older Times

In times of bullock carts and horse carriages, there were no horns other than the driver’s voice.

He used to shout slogans like, “Watch out,” “Babu Ji, pay attention,” etc.

Then came bicycles. And they had bells. Though not horns in a technical sense, the bells seem to have started the horns tradition.

The sweet sound of bells on bicycles took the place of the human voice. Since it was not taxing on human vocal cords to do “trin-trin,” people started using the bells as often as they liked.

Later came the “Bhonpoos.” And they were annoying.

Maybe that’s why we address people who speak more than required as “Bhonpoos.”

Time went by, and horns became an integral part of automobiles—more powerful horns replaced “Bhonpoos.” And today, we have “pressure horns”—loud enough to give you a heart attack.

Now, if you watch carefully, the horn is simply an extension of the human voice. And so, blowing horns may be considered part of the freedom of expression. 😀

Why Do You Honk?

Have you ever thought…

Why do you blow the horn when the signal turns red to green? Is there some secret logic behind it that you’re trying to hide from us?

Yes, you must blow the horn at the signal if the car driver in front of you is blind.

But wait, did I say “blind?”

Well, the fact that he’s driving means he’s not blind, right?

Does that mean he, too, can notice the signal turning from red to green?

Oh! Shit. He’s staring at you—probably trying to figure out why you honk. 🙄

Does Honking Help Speed Up the Traffic?

Now, the question is:

Does honking help clear the traffic?

I doubt it.

And by the way…

How do you feel when the guy behind you starts honking?

Let me share an incident.

It was evening time, and the traffic was barely moving.

Near Palam airport, I noticed a biker honking terribly at the guy in front of him. The guy in the front (who was also riding a bike) looked back annoyingly and gave way to the biker behind him.

As soon as the biker from behind came in front of him, the guy (who just gave way to the annoying biker) started blowing the horn like crazy and shouted, “How are you feeling now?” The biker, who was creating a ruckus seconds ago, got embarrassed like anything.

The point here is that we seem to feel the pain only when we go through it.

Now, let’s discuss some reasons behind honking, shall we?

Why Do We Honk?

Poor Driving skills

When people don’t know how to drive, they often honk because they are not confident enough on the roads.

Lousy Time Management

You honk when you’re late for work.

But are your fellow travelers responsible for your lousy time management skills?


Impatience seems to be the latest trend among human beings. We want faster results. And this tendency to want everything here and now creates anxiety. And guess what, that anxiety reflects on roads too—you honk without even realizing it—you believe it’s normal, except that it is not.

Here’s something you must think:

Do you need a louder pressure horn, or do you need to learn to be a little more patient?

You see, honking is just an unconscious habit. And you can change any habit the moment you realize that it no longer serves you.

So, next time you’re on the road, would you honk like most people?

Or, would you be more conscious the next time you feel like pressing the horn button?


Read more:

Don’t Blame the Government (A Brutally Honest Advice)

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