I was stopped at a stop light, waiting to make a right hand turn. I have to admit right here that I was talking on the phone. And while I know my driving is impaired when I talk on the phone, talking certainly doesnt affect my ability to make a right hand turn. I was hesitant to make the turn not because one of my best friends was retelling a funny story about …something…but because there were cars driving very quickly through the intersection. And since it was sunny, I decided not to attempt suicide (“no sunny day suicides” is a policy that has gotten me far in life) Anyways, some jerk behind me honks his horn. Not a nice little “hey could you please go” beep, but a long “get a move on it” blast. And suddenly, the road rage set in.
Who does this guy think he is? The light is RED! I can make a right hand turn if I feel like it, but I don’t have to go. It’s red. RED!
He honked again.
O. No. He. Didn’t. He did not just honk at me AGAIN. Are you in a hurry or something? Well tough, cause I’m just going to sit here, and sit here, until the light turns green! GREEN MEANS GO!
So thats what I did. I sat there, despite the fact that cars where no longer crossing the intersection and it was perfectly safe to turn. A boy did that guy get mad. He’s honking and shaking his fists and yelling at me. At this point I go from a raging crazy to a calm, meniacal evil villian who’s only goal was to completely ruin that guys day. As soon as the light turned green I started going…very…very…slowly. Seriously, it was like 5 mph. I completely disregarded the no suicide on sunny days rule because if that guy had had a gun, I’m pretty sure he would have shot me. He pulls up beside me cursing and shaking his fist. It shouldn’t have been funny, road rage is a serious issue, but I was chuckling.
This is just one of countless stories I have about people honking unecessarily. I don’t know if this is an Orange County thing or what, but I feel like every time I get on the road I’m accompanied by an orchestra of horns. And I know what you’re thinking, “Brianna, you’re such a bad driver that people have to honk at you. Its you’re fault, not theres.” But no, that’s a lie. Because while its true that sometimes I deserve a little honk because I’m paying more attention to my virtual iphone bakery than the lights, 95% of the time that I get honked at I’m seriously doing nothing wrong. And its not just me who’s getting honked it. I’ve seen tons of other drivers get honked at for no apparent reason. It is ridiculous and it needs to stop.
In order to quelch OC drivers’ thirst for horn controversy, I’ve created a list of rules clearly stating when it IS okay and when it is NOT okay to honk at someone. Observe.
It’s not okay to honk when…
- someone is not turning at a red light. As I said earlier, turning right on red is a personal choice. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable, pressuring them with a horn isn’t going to help.
- the light turned green a milisecond ago. Just because you had your foot on the gas and was already starting to roll forward before the light turned doesn’t mean that I was. I mean, I understand that if someone takes an unreasonable amount of time you need to give them a friendly honk, but seriously, give them a second to take their foot off the brake and apply it to the gas. Count to three before honking!
- someone is going to slow. Just go around for heaven’s sake. Do you think they are driving along thinking ” 50 mph on the highway is so lovely. But I hope I’m not bothering anyone. I guess I’ll just keep going at this pace until someone honks at me.” NO! They are not thinking that. They are driving that way because…well I won’t tell you my thoughts because you’ll think I’m agist and racist…so lets just say they are driving that way because that’s how they want to drive and no amount of horn honking is going to help.
- someone “cuts” 5 car lenghts in front of you. If someone is really does cut you off, or if it looks like they are going to go into your lane and hit you, then yes a honk is necessary. But you don’t get to honk at someone just because they switched lanes in front of you. I don’t c are how Orange County you are, there is no way you could possibly think you are so entitled as to deserve an entire lane to yourself.
- someone takes the parking spot you were waiting for, gives you a dirty look or has an Oakland A’s bumper sticker on the back of their car. Yes, all of these things are offensive, but is it really worth getting all worked up about? As I’ve said a million times in this post, honking doesn’t actually do anything. It just makes everyone else around you angry. The entire human race has a Pavolovian response to car horns and that response is anger! If you are such an angry person that you have to do something, scream in your car, squeeze a stress ball or peel off that A’s bumper sticker. But lay off the horn
You can honk the horn when
- someone puts one of those stupid “honk if you…” bumper stickers on their car. They asked for it, might as well give it to them.
- you honestly feel like someone is dangerously close to hitting you and the only way to avoid it is to warn them with a horn
- someone is not going on a green light. but even then, make it a nice little friendly beep, not a blazing anger bugle.
- Okay you’re right. If someone is an Oakland A’s fan they should be honked at. Constantly.