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Don’t hoot at other drivers

Don’t hoot at drivers.It is rude and potentially dangerous

Kampala, Uganda| MOTORING GURU |  Kampala is suddenly a city of traffic lights at almost every junction and multiple lanes on each road. Trouble is a few motorists are determined to overlook them. Am I the only one hearing this, or is it actually common to hear someone hoot from behind you when the light is red? It gets worse as soon as it turns amber to green. Perhaps some motorists do not appreciate that hooting in this manner is downright impolite.

It is the equivalent of somebody asking you to leave a table in the restaurant because they want to use it.  And we are not talking quick light taps on the horn. No way, these guys hit the horn like something really dangerous is about to happen – you know, the kind of hooting you expect from a truck whose breaks have failed.

Some research is other countries have shown that over 10% of usually polite drivers become aggressive when someone hoots at or near them. Yet over 90% of drivers say they have used their horn impolitely. Mainly, it is when they think another driver is doing something wrong; for example, driving too slowly, refusing to be overtaken, abruptly entering traffic, and not indicating when turning or changing lanes.

So here are some quick hooting and honking tip. Remember, it all in the spirit of being courteous on the road.

  • No, your horn cannot magically clear a traffic jam

If you’re stuck in a traffic jam, don’t honk. It isn’t going to make the situation any better; in fact, it will make it worse for everyone around you. Never lay on your horn in traffic.

  • Don’t use your horn to vent frustration

Your horn is not a way for you to tell another driver you don’t like their driving. If someone’s driving creates an ongoing danger, never lay on your horn out of frustration with another driver.

Many instances of road rage begin with aggressive horn honking. You never know another driver’s state of mind, the kind of day they’re having, or how they’ll react to your blaring horn. Your safety is the top priority, so be calm when driving. If you must honk your horn at someone, do it lightly. Also, do not yell, mouth words, or use hand gestures to show your anger.

  • Use your horn to promote safe driving

There are times when it is common and acceptable to use your horn. For example, if the driver in front of you at a red light is not paying attention when the light changes to green, wait at least 4 seconds and then give a light, quick tap on the horn.

If another driver is driving too close to the lane line or almost hits you, it is appropriate to give a quick “beep” to let them know that they made a driving error and need to be more cautious. A quick honk of the horn can mean “Watch what you’re doing!”

  • Don’t use your horn to ask “What’s Happening?”

In Kampala, this goes mainly for taxi, big truck, and bus drivers. These often like to lay on the horn if whizzing past someone they know or their favourite location. In reality, this type of pointless honking can alarm other drivers. It could cause an accident if the other driver panics and slams on their brakes, aborts their turn, or performing some other dangerous maneuver. Your horn is not a way to say “Hey” as you drive past your friends.


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