Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

View Poll Results: How do you respond to honking?

Voters
130. You may not vote on this poll
  • Ignore it.

    46 35.38%
  • Honk back and/or give the one finger salute.

    34 26.15%
  • Look behind you to see what the situation is (even though it might be the last thing you ever see).

    45 34.62%
  • Assume your life is in imminent danger and leap onto the roof of the parked car next to you.

    5 3.85%
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 67
  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,296
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    How to respond to honking?

    Honking is supposed to warn other vehicles of imminent danger. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten it's used simply to let out frustration and piss other people off.

    This puts us in a bit of a pickle, as the best way to respond to people trying to piss you off is to not respond at all, which the best way to respond to imminent danger is with drastic and immediate action.

    That being said, how do you respond to cars honking at you (from behind)?

  2. #2
    Cantre Member Turtle Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    99
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wave, I figure it's meant as a friendly warning.

  3. #3
    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Middle Finger 100% unless its a quick, 0.5 sec honk - they get dirty looks, or 2 taps - then I assume friendly.

  4. #4
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    13,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle Jack
    I wave, I figure it's meant as a friendly warning.


    I didn't vote because "wave, smile, nod" was not one of the options.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    My Bikes
    Jamis Nova
    Posts
    714
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu
    Honking is supposed to warn other vehicles of imminent danger. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten it's used simply to let out frustration and piss other people off.

    This puts us in a bit of a pickle, as the best way to respond to people trying to piss you off is to not respond at all, which the best way to respond to imminent danger is with drastic and immediate action.

    That being said, how do you respond to cars honking at you (from behind)?
    Its a very regional thing.

    Growing up in Texas, the only time i EVER heard honking even when cycling was if an accident was about to happen.


    Living in chicago now, people honk to say hello, they honk to say goodbye, they honk all day long, they honk while they sing this song.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    5,808
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Last time someone honked "at me" was right after I had gone through a cloud of dust blown up be 'gardeners' with leaf blowers. I was pissed off already as it was both nasty and dangerous (the cloud of dust).

    I turned and cussed out the car. They passed me slowly and the passenger politely told me that they were honking at the jerks making the cloud, not me and that I was fine as far as they were concerend.

    Hopefully in the future I'll take a little longer to be sure just who the horn is aimed at.

  7. #7
    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99
    Hopefully in the future I'll take a little longer to be sure just who the horn is aimed at.
    I have been know to apologize to drivers at red lights after saluting them for thinking the honk meant something that it didn't - but my general feeling is that a honk on a busy road is dangerous to me as a cyclist, so please, NEVER do it for any reason unless my life is in danger due to your brakes failing and/or your steering locking up.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    2,967
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ^^^ what he said. it scares the @#$% out of me when it's right next to me.

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    23,052
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I try to give a big friendly wave and grin... and yeah, I look. However, my response does vary, based on the situation... if someone just cruises by and lets out a honk, they get the wave and grin... must be a long lost friend. If someone is trying to squeeze me and is being dangerous doing it... I will try to give them a piece of my mind... if they are not likely to stop and are just being a JAM... they get the one finger salute.

    I give out a lot more waves. I talk to a motorist about twice a year. The rest get what they deserve.

  10. #10
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
    Posts
    24,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Look, if a response is needed for safety, do it, if not, ignore it, or, if it's a jerk and I've had a bad day, give em the good ole American bird.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South of Dallas, Texas
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR C0 road
    Posts
    1,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My choice isn't available on the poll: big smile and wave.
    Honking usually makes me angry, but I want to hide that reaction. If the JAM sees his aggression is mis-understood, perhaps it will piss him off more than an angry reaction would.
    I try hard to be glad that they honk at me: It means that they see me!
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

  12. #12
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Canada
    My Bikes
    Giant STP 2
    Posts
    845
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, smile and wave. If it's an angry honk, it generally means I'm doing something wrong so in that position I'll run through my head and see what I'm doing that could be better
    "It is not the critic who counts."

  13. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,296
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by natelutkjohn
    I have been know to apologize to drivers at red lights after saluting them for thinking the honk meant something that it didn't - but my general feeling is that a honk on a busy road is dangerous to me as a cyclist, so please, NEVER do it for any reason unless my life is in danger due to your brakes failing and/or your steering locking up.
    That's the whole problem though. You're asking people to honk only when your life is in danger, but if they actually did so then you'd probably die anyway (since you would assume they are just honking to be an ******* like everyone else).

    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSeal
    My choice isn't available on the poll: big smile and wave.
    That's not the point. The point is that by not responding to honks by leaping to the side of the road, cyclists are nullifying the only legitimate reason for honking at all and, in fact, putting themselves in danger by inappropriately responding to legitimate honks. On the other hand, 99% of all honking is illegitimate, so it would be a huge waste of time to respond to all honks as if they were legitimate.

    It doesn't matter if you honk back, wave back, smile back, etc. For the purposes of this conversation they are all the same. They all spell death for the cyclist if the honk is legitimate (for example, if the driver's shoe got stuck under the break pedal or some such).

    What I want to know is how do you people deal with that? Horns are a necessary safety precaution, but by not interpreting honking as grave danger we are effectively removing that safety precaution.
    Last edited by makeinu; 05-08-07 at 07:47 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    south jersey
    Posts
    1,205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    wave back! Thanks for noticing me!!
    (depending on the honk) like ksyox stated above.

  15. #15
    Senior Member 2skinnywheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If they are coming up behind me and pop the horn, I assume they are just letting me know they are there and I give them a "thank you" wave. The things that motorists do that amuse me the most are when they have to get on the gas and damn near drop their transmission trying to pass me. Now, what pisses me off is the motorcyclists on crotchrockets that want to wind it out as they pass me. But I get amusment out of making vroom vroom noises when I see them at the next gas station up the road fueling up.

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    39,919
    Mentioned
    42 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wave and smile brightly.

    More honking = more waving and smiling.

    Even more honking = even more waving and smiling.


    I really don't understand people who immediately assume that honking means something negative. I take it as a "way to go!". And even on occasions when I'm pretty sure it was something negative, my waving and smiling has gotten many drivers to wave and smile back. They can't help it.

    I'm afraid I don't cycle assuming that all drivers want to kill me.

  17. #17
    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu
    That's the whole problem though. You're asking people to honk only when your life is in danger, but if they actually did so then you'd probably die anyway (since you would assume they are just honking to be an ******* like everyone else).
    Definitely a possibility *shrug*
    I do however look over my shoulder all the time and double so when I hear a honk - I'm not completely oblivious out there when I hear honks - just VERY beligerant when I do

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was riding on a two lane road that opened up to four lanes about 15 yards ahead of us, with my buddy. We were riding side by side, chatting and moving along at a pretty decent rate--either way, the road had only just narrowed and opened up again soon, and there was no bike lane, so if we were in file the people behind us would still have to wait--when the guy behind us honked five or six times. I looked, and seeing that he was just impatient and rude, flipped him off; he pulled up beside us when he could and sputtered before yelling for me to get off my bike so he could assault me (he said it in a few more words). What a jerk. I just laughed and have delighted in making fun of him for the past couple days.

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    My Bikes
    Gary Fisher
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I ignore all honks that are behind me. They do not convey any useful information.

  20. #20
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Santa Maria, CA
    My Bikes
    2007 Trek 7.2 FX, 2008 Trek Madone 5.2
    Posts
    554
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    lol nice one oaks.

    Usually when the honker is a JAM they don't do it until they're right on my rear tire or they're passing me. I can usually tell when somebody is going to do an "anger honk" before they do because I'm always keeping an eye on my rear view mirror. These ones get a friendly wave and/or a smile.

    If a vehicle were coming at me from behind at high speed, laying on the horn, and not slowing down, I would assume there was a problem and do whatever possible to get out of the way (I've never had this happen).

    Sometimes people I know will honk as they pass by. One time I wasn't paying attention and it scared me, but I just held my path since I was in a bike lane with a curb/light posts to my right and the honk came from my left. That taught me to pay more attention. The next time I see a friend that honked while I was riding I try to make it a point to ask them not to again.

  21. #21
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    My Bikes
    Surly Cross-Check; hard tail MTB
    Posts
    4,059
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with Machka, genec and others. Smile and wave.

  22. #22
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
    Posts
    24,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To all the 'smile and wave' folks...I get this mental picture of someone honking and hollering to warn you of something about to hit you, and your response is to smile and wave...right up to the time you go SPLAT!!!

    Smiling and waving is a nice response - AFTER you re-check your situation to ensure you are not missing something that may be putting you in danger.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Jersey
    My Bikes
    Trek 830 circa 1993 and a Fuji WSD Finest 1.0 2006
    Posts
    5,979
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have never had someone honk at me as a warning, so I do the same thing as I do with my child when she is whining that there is nothing to eat just after I spent $300 at the supermarket...I ignore it.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
    Senior Member Jolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Central MA
    My Bikes
    Early or mid '90s Giant Nutra women's hybrid
    Posts
    116
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Haven't had anyone honk at me as a warning, but when I hear a honk I always check it out. If it's just somebody being a butthead I ignore it. If it turns out to be a friend passing by who's honking, then I'll wave. However, I'd rather they didn't do that as it is pretty startling.
    The rhythm is gonna get you...and if it's v-tach or v-fib you're in for a shock!

  25. #25
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    My Bikes
    Specialized Tricross Comp, Lemond Tourmalet, Bridgestone MB-5
    Posts
    1,713
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I honk back with my AirZounds!
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •