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Have You Seen This? A more polite car horn

POSTED June 16, 2017 8:43 a.m.

ON THE ROAD — Driving can be stressful.

I’ll never forget first hitting the road in driver’s education and being completely mortified by the experience. Everything moves faster when you're driving than it does as a passenger. There’s the tricky trouble of figuring out how to slow down into turns and brake smoothly, and when your high school boyfriend is in the backseat observing your first time driving on the freeway, that leads to endless ammunition for shaming you down the road (literally and figuratively).

Another part of what’s challenging when driving is effectively communicating with other drivers. There are two civilized and built-in ways to do this: using the turn signal and the horn.

Mark Rober, former NASA engineer and current YouTuber, said those standard options aren’t enough. According to him, cars should have a way to give a “courtesy honk” that politely informs fellow drivers of something other than an emergency, like when it’s time to move forward at a light or let someone know they’ve left something on top of their car. Rober makes the point that a less jarring horn sound could lead to less road raging and more general courteousness.

In the video posted to YouTube, Rober installed three extra honks in his Volkswagen Jetta, the most used of which is “two super quick chirps of the horn” to get the point across on the road or to pedestrians without seeming aggressive. (You’ll have to watch the video to see what the other two buttons do.)

The video makes a case for more options than the standard horn and includes instructions on how to customize your own setup, using fairly inexpensive parts and a little engineering know-how.

Do you think that cars should have more than one honking option? Let us know in the comments below!


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