Friday, August 23, 2013

Aggressive drivers and horn honking etiquette

I’ve heard that Finland pales in comparison to other countries when it comes to aggressive drivers, I am referring to those making their madness very explicit to others by honking or acting nasty on the road. But there are some, and I am trying my best to keep calm and ignore their behavior.

I think I have been rather patient and calm while driving, and in the few occasions there have been drivers honking for no reason, I have kept my cool and ignore their ramblings. However, there have been cases on which I have made mistakes, not intentionally of course, but rather caused by my lack of driving experience or my lack of focus on the task at hand, on those occasions, the honking has had a bad effect on me, I had became nervous and panicky, and I could have easily caused an accident.

So, there is a lesson here, use your horn only when really needed and be considerate to other drivers when they make mistakes, do not vent your frustration at their driving skills by honking, it could be dangerous. Here some horn honking etiquette I have found on the net:

Now my horn honking tales. First, the mad drivers..

The pushy driver at a roundabout

I was approaching a roundabout and I was looking carefully and waiting for my time to get in. In most of the cases drivers do not signal when they intend to go out from it, so sometimes it is difficult to predict their intentions so I wait instead. Well, the guy behind me was not agreeing with my waiting and instead used his horn twice when I attempted to enter it but stop to wait for traffic inside the roundabout. I of course ignore him, took my time, got in the roundabout and continue my way. At some point I saw him overtaking me and others and driving quite above the speed limits. I hope he arrived safely at his destination..

The impatient driver

On another occasion while approaching a highway entrance with a give way sign, a motorcyclist was waiting to get into the highway entrance on the very right side of the lane, (instead of in the middle of it). I saw him and patiently wait for him to take the highway entrance road, meanwhile a motorist approached behind me who almost immediately got tired of waiting and used the horn, I guess he later realized I was not waiting there for the sake of it, but because a motorcyclist was in front of me, I could not just pass him, that would have been illegal.

The impatient driver #2. Some revenge involved

I got a green light at a left turn and started my turning, I did not know why the driver behind me used his horn this time, I think because I was not driving fast enough for his liking, but seriously you have to take the turns on a safe speed. Anyways, he went in front of me and stop at a traffic light further ahead. I was behind him this time, he then did not notice fast enough when the light turned green, so I used my horn this time J... (Not good for me, but I was upset at his behavior)

Then, my mistakes. 

The "fight" at the parking lot

This time I was about to take a left turn to enter a parking lot. My mind was already somewhere else instead of the task at hand, it was on the spot I wanted to park the car to, and on the list of things I needed to get from the shop. The road speed limit was 30 km/h, I saw a car approaching the turn as well, about 100 meters away from me, but instead of yielding at him I took the turn without even thinking, and he honked, understandably, then I approached the parking spot I wanted to use, I signaled I was taking it and the very same driver who got frustrated before, was trying to overtook me in the parking lot and he honked again!.. Man, I was shaking, two traffic mistakes, not yielding at the left turn and failing to look if somebody wanted to overtake me on a parking lot. 

Lesson to myself: Pay attention while driving always, concentrate on the task at hand, especially on parking lot.


  1. Followed the link you left on a newspaper article :) I passed my test 14 years ago this October at 34 weeks pregnant. I had a c.section and shortly after moved to an area that took away my need to drive and haven't driven since. I regret not sticking at it so much and of course now the fear is so great, it's almost paralysing. So, I'm just wondering how you're doing now?

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi, I am doing great!, I recently bought a new car, a renault clio in exchange for my former Micra. I am more confident now, and enjoying driving in my new car. A bittersweet moment nevertheless. We had many stories to tell with my Micra. I may write about it..

    2. And Susan, try nevertheless, practice does help you to get over your fears. I've read that for some the anticipation fear is worse than the one felt while doing the actual tasks. I think for me it seemed to be equally terrifying at first, but patience and trying small things before moving on to more challenging tasks helped me. Good luck to you!

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  3. Thank you for your thoughts and advice. It certainly feels like the hardest step is the first! Thanks again!