Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Do you honk and yell at other drivers?

If you’re one of the Charlotte drivers who likes to honk, yell and gesture at other drivers, I have a question for you:

Does it make you feel better?

I was somewhat amused last month when I wrote a blog post about whether a tendency to honk comes from the Northeast. It posed the question, should drivers here observe Southern driving styles and restrain their use of horns?

More than 40 comments failed to resolve the issue – they reinforced the idea that there are widely diverging driving styles here and many of them clash, hence the near-universal complaints about Charlotte drivers.

Not long ago, though, I had some personal experiences that got me wondering about this topic. In one case, I turned out from the driveway of the Manor Theater on Providence Road and cut it too close with an oncoming car, which had to brake. The woman driving it started gesturing and mouthing something at me. When we pulled up to the next stoplight she was still at it. I thought something was wrong, so I rolled down my window. She just wanted to make good and sure I knew she was yelling at me for my turn.

Then last weekend, I was driving at night to visit my sister-in-law in Mint Hill. Even though I grew up in Charlotte, Mint Hill has never been one of my regular haunts, and I find some of its roads confusing – especially the ones that are unlit at night. I missed a turn and slowed to find a place to turn around. When I turned onto a side street, the car behind me let loose with a long horn blast, apparently offended by my slow driving.

For all that driver knew, I could be a newcomer driving in Mint Hill for the first time. It wouldn’t have exactly been a welcome consistent with Southern hospitality. Every day we have newcomers trying to find places in our region for the first time; I hope they don’t all get honked at when they’re uncertain about their turns.

I freely admit I’m not the best driver around. In both cases, I made mistakes. But the yelling and honking from the other drivers did nothing to make anything better. All they did was upset me, and I can’t help but wonder what they did for the other drivers.

So, I’ll ask the question again: Shouldn’t we all try to restrain our honking?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You deserved it and that is all I have to say. Horns are on cars for a reason.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In NEW YORK we give each other the finger and I look for that to start here soon; Please dont take it personally Charlotteans its a way to get it out of your system. Also, this keeps the horn blowing down to a low roar . So dont be suprised if the middle finger starts winding up on the road.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liegh you should tell them you are really from NEW YORK and this was all an experiment on how we would treat you on the blog. go ahead Liegh tell them your from NEW YORK

3:08 PM  
Blogger hipQuest said...

I think a honk depends on the situation. A couple of years ago I pulled out of my neighborhood and almost caused a crash, that driver rightfully honked at me. It did not matter that the sun was in my eyes, only that I could have killed these people. At the light I pulled up, gave a light honk for their attention and apologized for not seeing them. We were both grateful for the honks, me because it did avert an accident and them because they knew I was not trying to be "Queen of the Road". I'm a Southern driver born and bred and appreciate what the well timed honk can do.

As for driving in Mint Hill, that honk, depending on where your turn is located could be a good thing. My MIL lives off of Lawyers Rd and there are a couple of turns where the curves, slow driving and (I'm guessing here) lack of a turn signal would earn a well warranted honk from those who DO know the area.

Sometimes the horn does what's intended-Warn other drivers.

I've had horrible experiences with drivers who REALLY need a refresher on the use of a car horn but I'll take them all for the few that have saved me from disaster.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont have a problem honking my horn at some of these idiot drivers. People are never in the right lane they want. Learn to plan ahead people when you are driving, else you will hear my honking.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved here from Boston a little over a year ago, and made a conscious effort not to yell, gesture or beep at other drivers so much. It's definitely accepted in the north east, but I know it's not really cool down here. Sometimes I really have to struggle to keep myself in check, but mostly I've been successful. Just get you SUV/minivan out of the friggin' fast lane if you're doing 45 MPH on the cell phone.....

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let me tell you the rudeness of drivers in the Charlotte area is getting worse each day, I know for a fact it's not out of state transplants. It seems people in this area will talk to you like they are your best friend until they get behind the wheel of a car and then say, gesture or honk their disapproval as thought they are the King or Queen of the road.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a native, and I certainly use my horn when necessary. I'm not a believer in flipping people off (no one with any manners should be), but I do think it's necessary to use the horn in avoiding dangerous situations. It happens too often that people are obviously unaware of their surroundings on the road (for texting, messing with the radio, being too old to really be on the road, visitors having no idea where they're going, or maybe just plain oblivious people), and perhaps they need a reminder that they are not just sitting in their living rooms. They are on the road in a potentially deadly weapon. And, let's not forget the too many left turn lights that are way too short to just let the oblivious just sit there in a daze :) They deserve the horn, too!!

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

listen, there are so many bad drivers here tailgating, cutting people off, pulling out of driveways without looking or judging the turn correctly. I admit I yell, swear and honk my horn because everyday I feel like I have a near death experience. Feel lucky that the worst thing that happens is that you get yelled at.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Clickr said...

I have been driving off and on in Charlotte for years. I am moving to the Charlotte area from Detroit. In Detroit the average speed on a X-way is 80-85 unless of course you are in bumper to bumper traffic. It it the responsibility of newcomers to mesh with the culture in the area they move to. My families origins are in the south so I consider myself part Southern cause those are the morals and values I was raised with. People should honk if they are trying to gain the attention of the other to avoid an accident. Other than that get off the horn. Charlotte is a beautiful city with great people and I'm looking forward to calling it my home.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and I moved here in April 2006 from Miami, where a courteous driver was one that fired a warning shot. I am delighted at the relative absence of car horns here even in the worst of traffic.

Last weekend I was at Martinsville VA for the NASCAR race – not Charlotte I know, but still close enough to feel like my new home. 65,000 people try to move in and out of inadequate parking, some of them with a few beers in them. Yet no one is yelling, no one is blowing horns. Finally I hear a horn blast by a car who obviously thought another car should not have pulled in front of it. I looked up, and sure enough, it had New York tags!

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leigh, unless you were driving down that country road for 10 minutes at slow speeds looking for a turn, I think the honk was undeserved.

However, there are a lot of idiotic drivers here (place of birth irrelevant) who deserve to be shouted at, honked at, and middle finger given too. My personal pet peeves include:

The guy who squeezes into the 5 foot spot between you and the car in front of you and THEN slams on his brakes to make a turn or something.

The woman who forgets about her turn and tries to cut over 3 lanes at the signal to make her turn, blocking all thru traffic in her wake

The BMW who sees the sign "Lane Closed 2 miles" but waits until Lane Closed 2 feet to merge.

The other BMW who somehow thinks the shoulder is a safe and legal option when I-77 is backed up due to an accident or lane closure.

And where did some of these drivers come to the thought that they are supposed to slow down at a green light? And why do most of these drivers have SC plates?

So commentors, if you do any of these things, please expect a horn blast coming your way in the near future...

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it comes down to the ME mentality.

YOUR destination isn't more important than ANYONE else's life.

Follow the rules of the road and chill out. Half of these encounters will find both parties stopped at the same traffic signal up the road.

When walking on the sidewalk do you yell at people to get the **** out of your way? No, and a motor vehicle is no different.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get tired of hearing bad drivers/horns/the finger comes from anywhere but the South. Please. People here are nice to your face and say Well Bless Your Heart which really means Screw You. That same attitude is then applied in their cars.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to honk my horn at someone today because they held up a bunch of traffic (with me being the car right behind them) trying to turn left, when there was clearly a "no left turn" sign. When I honked at them, they looked at me like I was the jerk.

People who can't obey traffic signs deserve to be honked at. The same applies for people who are busy doing other things besides driving, like applying makeup, texting on their cellphone, messing with their kids or pets in the back seat, etc. When you're in the driver's seat of a car, Rule #1 is "eyes front".

Oh, and I'm not some recent import from the North. I've been in Charlotte for 15 years and in North Carolina for over 25.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honking is an absolute necessity at times. I give people more leeway than most when I see it is obvious that they are both driving and navigating at the same time. However, people who DRIVE rudely are worse than people who HONK rudely.

For instance, if you are in traffic and see that you will not be able to get across an intersection within the span of the next green, but do so anyways, your behavior needs to be modified. If I have to stare at the green light in front of me, but am held hostage by your car blocking the intersection, you are about to meet my way of modifying your horn. Without honking and/or embarassing RUDE drivers, we will never change their driving.

Give lost and elderly persons the benefit of the doubt...but give rude drivers HELL!

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a newcomer to the area who recently had to take the NC driver's test (twice, unfortunately), actually the law in this state is that if you're on the freeway trying to pass someone in the left-hand lane, the car trying to pass is required to honk as a signal to get the slower car out of the way. Who knew.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Tully said...

If you are "cutting it close" when turning, then at least speed up so the person you cut off does not hurt themselves slamming on brakes. Secondly, the lack of turn signals in this area is the main reason I yell and scream and honk at people. That button is there for a reason. If you are lost in an area with cars behind you, then use the turn signal or your flashers or something to let those people know what you are doing.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comments I have just read tell me who I am dealing with on the road driving a motor vehicle. I'm going to start riding a bicycle....
Oh Crap! What am I thinking??

4:02 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

To answer some of the comments: After my premature turn, I did indeed speed up. When I was lost in Mint Hill, I was driving slowly only for the distance between the turn I missed and the next side street. In the first case, if the woman felt endangered, the time had long passed by the time she yelled at me. In the second, there was never any life-threatening danger. Those of you who are defending honking and yelling in non-life-threatening situations are essentially saying that you feel upset by a driver, so you want them to be upset too. Does that really help anyone?

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from massachusetts and almost everyday i give someone the finger. Sometimes i'm the one giving the finger and yelling and other times i'm just returning the favor. But what she is destcribing is the norm up here rather than the exception.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:18 got it just right! That's exactly how I feel, people need to know when they're doing something that endangers everyone else around them on the road... give a honk!

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yelling, honking, cussing (or cursing, depending on where you are from), flippin' people off, beating on the steering wheel and all that good stuff does make me feel better.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gave up the car for the bus a year ago. Nap, read or just relax. I don't miss the stress one bit.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once, just once, I would like to see someone get honked at, and then get out of their car and kick the #$@! out of the honker.

People need to remember that they're honking at another human being, not a big chunk of machinery. Unless there is actual danger involved, there is no need for a horn -- you are not going to "modify" anyone's driving, you are just causing them to drive angry.

Like mama always said: don't say anything from behind the wheel that you wouldn't say to someone's face... because the next red light ain't that far away.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and when will they make it a law here to use hands-free mobile phones ... the driving style here is terrible... everyone is on the phone, some also combine that with eating, smoking, etc. please, please use common sense and purchase an ear piece or turn your phone to speaker phone.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte - a melting pot of driving talent.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Look at all the Anger!

I think I may have used my horn twice in the last 20 years.

And yes I've always lived in Charlotte and until recently people in this town rarely blew their horns.

As a public service to help those who feel the need for loud public expression and venting I offer the following

Ten reason's why I do not blow my horn in Charlotte.

(1) Absent minded drivers are likely to be startled, swerve and hit my car.

(2) The person in the Ford LTD is probably law enforcement.

(3) The person in the car ahead of me driving slow is probably someone’s grandmother.

(4) The person in the car ahead of me might just be packing a hand gun and is an escaped felon from the Mecklenburg County Jail.

(5) My horn is not really all that impressive plus, I have other things that I’m really proud of.

(6) I don’t want to be known for blowing, honking or tooting anything.

(7) It’s not a really great way to impress my date.

(8) Blowing my horn might remind me of Philadelphia or heaven forbid New York.

(9) I hear that In Ohio tooting your horn is something you do in a rest area if you want to hook up with a member of the same sex.

(10) Blowing my horn will only cause you to spill your coffee, smear your make up, or make a major text typo, which will only slow you down more and let everyone else know that the reason I ran the last three red lights is because I wasn't paying attention to my own driving.

Chris McIntire

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made two driving mistakes and people wanted to let you know you made them. I do not see where they were in the wrong. Bad drivers need to get corrected, if not, next time they could kill someone with that same "mistake".

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I honk if I have to. If you're sitting at green light talking on your phone and not moving -- well, I'm honkin'. I got places to be, man.

I do, in fact, flip the bird, yell, curse, and even threaten if I'm angry enough. I scared the hell out of some lady a couple months back. She actually flipped me off (for letting a guy in, no less) and I threatened to get out of the car beat the crap out of her. Not one of my finer moments. She got out of there in a hurry. I did get a certain satisfaction from that.

If you don't expect it to come down to a street fight or shooting then don't do it. For me, I do have that expectation in any situation. I don't think it's a southern/northern thing, though.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved here from the VA/DC/MD metro area! I agree with other bloggers, horns are there for a reason! It's so funny that you posted this because me and my best friend who still lives there were talking about people who drive slow in the fast lane, stay 20 feet away from the car in front of them during traffic, take forever to make a turn, etc. Yes you deserve the horn, and maybe more. I blew on my horn so much in high school that it went out! It's better than someone walking up to your window trying to fight I guess you should appreciate a little horn blowing and finger throwing!!!

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I honk when needed... people who stop in the road to turn without a signal, crossing over the lane line squeezing me out, talking on phone not paying attention! Y'all definitely deserve a long loud honk!

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Driving is a privilege, not a right. We give out too many licenses too easy. So if you got the horn, you deserve it. If you don't know how to drive and you are pulling out in front of people or not going the speed requirement then you should get off the road. You obviously knew what you were doing wrong, so either don't drive or drive right.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazes me that we have an entire adult generation who can actually rationalize and defend honking, yelling, and throwing temper tantrums while driving a vehicle. They will actually say that the other person DESERVED it??!! Do they teach their toddler it's ok to hit and scream because someone is taking too long to get off the swing? When you have no self control in silly situations like someone irking you on the road, I have to wonder.... Do they have kids in the back seat learning by example, or getting slapped for saying something wrong? Car horns are useless for avoiding accidents now, because it's assumed it's just some moron who has nothing better to do.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a transplant from NY about 6 years ago, I only use the horn in case of emergency - which means I can't recall the last time I used it.

I relax when I drive, realize I'm not changing habits by honking, and feel better for it.

If someone is daydreaming in front of me, I wait for them to realize. No horn necessary.

Personally I think if you find the need to use your horn, then please move to a state where that's the norm. I didn't move to the South so it could become like other places.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Driving is a privilege."

Wrong. A license to drive a car is a property interest. It cannot be revoked without due process of law. It is granted according to specific statutory guidelines without discretion.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:07 blog and 7:17 blog- Thank you for bringing sanity to the conversation. Too many drivers are in too big a rush. It's not a north vs. south thing, it's treat others as you would like to be treated. Some earlier blog complains about 20 feet being too far a distance from the car ahead....please stay away from me, my wife and childern. You're simply a danger and an idiot...plain and simple.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, typed too fast and misspelled bad. Somehow that 20 ft. distance thing got me a little nerved.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're incompetence or ignorance affects my driving why shouldn't I let you know? If you don't want honked at then don't pull out in front of me, not use a turn signal, merge on the highways at 45mph, etc.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is too funny, as I've been participating in similar topics lately (see for a big discussion from your fellow neighbors about the horrific driving here. I'm from NJ and although I have been much more lenient and gracious towards people on the road since moving here, I still do use my horn when necessary and CANNOT figure out why so many do not. How many times have I been sitting at a green-arrow light waiting to make a turn and the daydreamer at the front doesn't notice when it turns green? No one uses their horn so we sit there until it turns yellow then back to red. How fair is that to everyone else? Oh, but, let's make sure we dont upset the person in the front of the line. What's wrong with a polite beep to let them know "WAKE UP" !! And if someone cuts me off real bad, or is drifting over into my lane, you better believe I'm using my horn. Bad drivers need to be corrected, I dont care if it upsets them or not. Actually, I read an article one time that was addressing senior citizens, it said that if you are honked at a lot while on the road, that might be a sign for you to not drive anymore. So lots of honking = poor driving, which endangers others. Maybe it DOES have a bit to do with where you're from, my boyfriend is a CLT native and doesnt ever use his horn.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I honk. If someone doesn't let you know that your driving is poor, how can I expect you to get better? You see, it's not so much anger with me as it is my way of telling you that your driving is unacceptable and you need to either start paying more attention to the road or get off of it.

I'd say easily 3/4 of licensed drivers shouldn't be allowed to drive. Of course, in most parts of this country, our economy would be destroyed if we couldn't all drive.

By the way, who were you calling when you pulled out in front of that lady? :)

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure I honk! Like when people are breaking the making illegal turns or anything which endangers others. I also seem to honk the horn a lot at people more interested in their cell phones than in driving. If you need to make or answer a call....pull over or buy a Bluetooth ear piece!

And one thing that drives me nuts that one other poster said.. The sign that says lane closed in 2 miles...DOES mean you have 2 miles to merge. HOW FAR would traffic back up if everyone immediately merged at the sign??? What would be the purpose of the 2 mile stretch??

An NC Native!

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People that honk are over-all uneducated. Im in the DC metro area and the driving here is horrific, but I just dont let it bother me. Ive noticed the less aggressive I am, the less aggressive those around me seem to be.
When I am home in Charlotte Ive noticed people are driving really fast these days, and of course noone really uses their blinkers.
I think those that honk their horns have some serious anger and control issues. I choose to make a conscious effort to appreciate the fact that I can actually get from A to B in less then 30 minutes. Imagine how long it would have taken 100 years ago.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only honk when someone is about to cause an accident or is blocking traffic (yes, this happens frequently in Charlotte - in fact just tonight). And I only yell when someone has come close to forcing me into an accident (or bodily harm). I'm sorry, but insurance premiums are high enough without dumb-ass drivers making ME shell out more money for an accident that wasn't my fault.

Let's all just agree to drive our best, not act our time is more precious than others and most importantly your vehicle is not a manifestation of power.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that so many people can rationalize such childish behavior.

Immaturity is immaturity. Doesn't matter if it's on the playground or the interstate.

10:20 PM  
Blogger margeclements said...

Back where I come from...the bad city of Chicago...honking at someone can get you shot. Needless to say, I don't honk much.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horn blowing was the least of my problems driving where I came from, a multicultural big city from the deep south..No name mentioned,but the state is south of Georgia and east of Alabama,and the city is located a few miles from Cuba on the se coast..I can tell you first hand that stop signs are treated as a suggestion..Green traffic lights mean go, yellow ones mean go faster..I once was rear ended for stopping when the light turned yellow..and the gentleman that hit me was so IRATE that he took a crow bar and started to bang on my windshield..I tried to object so he pulled out a gun and pointed it at me..long story short, he didn't stick around for the police..turned out the car that he was driving was stolen!!

BLOW THE HORN ALLLL YOU WANT!! I've been inoculated against boors

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do Southerner's think they are born with halo's around their heads?

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is this such a big deal? How does honking warrant a news article? This article and some of the comments on here are whats really childish. If you got honked at you most likely deserved it.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this is all so petty. And what is with all the NY bashing and who ever said anything about NY in the first place? NY is a great city. Not everyone wants to live there, but most people agree it is one of the greatest places in the world.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel the need to honk almost every morning making the left turn from Selwyn to Queens by that gold statue because there's usually someone at the head of the line who decides they're the only one who's gonna get through the light before the "whole" 4 seconds elapses. I know the pace is supposed to be more relaxed down here but the people behind these Sunday drivers have to get to work too.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I have to say is...get a life. If you and your destination are SO much more important that you feel it gives you the right to honk at someone else's driving skills, you are selfish and inconsiderate. I personally cannot remember the last time someone honked at me, unless it was warranted and I needed prompting at a green light, and I can count on one hand the number of times I have honked at someone in my lifetime. I really think people are just too focused on themselves and it will only make them unhappy in the end.

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granted I'm 26 so I've only been driving for 10 years but I know I've only used my horn once and it was indeed to prevent an accident. Aside from that, I've never needed to use it. I think it is poor manners for people to beep. You’re not teaching the other driver a lesson, but you are embarrassing yourself when you beep. I think it denotes poor upbringing to so visibly loose ones temper in public. As far as it being a Southern thing or not. Well, I do have to say that horn blowing was something seldom heard in this area 15 years ago. You can blame it on a worsening traffic situation if you want but I would think that to some degree cultural norms of other regions do come into play to a certain extent.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you ever consider the fact that if your driving actions didn't impede other drivers, they wouldn't need to use the horn/finger to alert you to their existence?

Maybe if you spent less time worrying about the stray horn and more time concerned about how your driving is affecting other drivers, you wouldn't pull out in front of people.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a courier, I make money by making deliveries quickly. Charlotte is full of drivers that don't pay attention, pull out in front of you, etc. When I am driving my signed vehicle, I keep gestures to myself, but cuss you out in my car. I will honk at the inevitable driver that turns in front of you only to make the next left or right turn.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Charlotte, city of ********.

Have fun at church on Sunday!!

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I didn't use my horn (and yes I am transplant Yankee), I would grow old and gray sitting at green lights waiting for people on thier cell phones to actaully use the gas pedal when the light is green. That and people drifting thier XL Escalades 1/2 way into the other lane on a turn...while on thier cell phone.

As far as yelling at people in the car...if you can hear my horn a honkin', be assured I am yelling at you also!

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from the west coast (Phoenix)... this is not just a New York / southern thing. Carolina drivers drive like idiots compared to most of the country. They have no clue the left lane is for faster vehicles and refuse to get over if someone approaches them.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the horn came with the car but I shouldn't use it because I might hurt someone's feelings? Are you the same people who don't discipline your children because they might cry?

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Florida People are bumping one another intentionaly: My Brother was on the freeway and got bumped by a car behind him on the BUMPER of his car; This is whats next here I can see it coming;

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you hear about BOFA its shedding 3000 thousand jobs here in Charlotte and may move to Mannhattan to the new building and dump most everybody here.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you saying that honkers are selfish and inconsiderate, I think you've got it backwards. If I'm honking at someone who isn't paying attention at a green light, or who pulls out in front of me, I'm honking at them because they are being selfish and inconsiderate by not paying attention to their surroundings. These people are a danger to others as well as themselves, and letting them know that the road we share is no place for such obliviousness is far from selfish or inconsiderate.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bank of America is a big company. Those jobs are spread across the country, not centralized in Charlotte. But nice try.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my wife doesnt like to honk...she just rear ends the driver. ;)

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't even understand what that means? My wife rearends the other driver? That doesn't make sense.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

North Carolina General Statutes § 20‑146e:
"when appropriate signs have been posted, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle over and upon the inside lane, next to the median of any dual‑lane highway at a speed less than the posted speed limit when the operation of said motor vehicle over and upon said inside lane shall impede the steady flow of traffic except when preparing for a left turn."

Amazing what you can find on the internet!

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems, based off the comments, there are two kinds of honking:

1.) Alert Honking: making someone aware of a dangerous situation; alerting a distracted driver to a green light; getting someone's attention to move over or to pull out in front.

2.) Anger Honking: making someone aware you were inconvienenced; letting someone know you disapprove of their speed/actions; combining fingers, cusses, and horns to "modify" behavior.

Personally, I am an Alert Honker. This seems to be what car horns were made for: communication on the road to keep everyone moving and safe.

I do not do much anger honking, since it does not make me feel better (in fact showing anger makes you angrier); it does not modify anyone's behavior (if they don't know or care that they cut you off, they won't know or care about your honk)

Ideally, we should limit our honking to Alert Honking, so we will recognize a horn and pay attention to it as it indicates potential danger.

Too much Anger Honking leads to no one paying attention to the honk - similar to car alarms these days.

When one goes off, do you care?


9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honking isn't bad, it's just a form of communication on the road. That is, unless you're doing it excessively...using it several times within a few mile drive might be over the top, in which case you might just want to pull over and take a deep breath. No need to be so angry!

If your driving really is that bad, someone should let you know- for the safety of others.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The horn is there for a use when someone is going unnecessarily slow or an accident is about to happen. It sounds like Leigh's two experiences encouraged the honking and yelling. And yes, it makes me feel better to yell. I want the person who made the mistake to KNOW that they were wrong, and hopefully they will become safer drivers.

As far as this little quote is concerned, "It wouldn’t have exactly been a welcome consistent with Southern hospitality"...what are you talking about? I get all kinds of Southern hospitality from people here...until they find out you don't share the same religious views or go to their church! :)

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They think they are driving on Lowe's Motor Speedway!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about people learning to use their turn signals!!!!??? And please, can't we just be AMERICAN instead of natives and outsiders around here?

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a difference between beeping to get someone's attention, and holding the horn down angrily.

If someone doesn't notice that the light has changed, a quick beep will do the trick. Pushing the horn for any more than a half-second is unnecessary and rude, and you are NOT justified in that kind of behavior just because your trip is literally one second longer.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are driving defensively, you will never have any reason to honk. I say many accidents could be prevented if people would steer clear of a dangerous situation rather than take the time to honk their horn. Those seconds are precious and potentially lifesaving. I guess most people think its more important to be right than to be alive. Happy driving!

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How not to get honked:
1. Do not talk on cell phone while driving.
2. If you miss a turn, keep driving until you can pull into a parking lot or gas station and turn around safely.
3. Use turn signals, they're there for a reason.
4. If you are not going over 75mph, stay out of the left lane.
5. Do no swing out wide for a simple right turn, it is not necessary. Cars behind you can get by easier of you dont take up 2 lanes trying to turn.
--I have more but have to get back to work---

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


........ I like mustard on my biscuits........


.............I reckon I'll have to honk at you now.....


5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's dumb. Why do you have to post such dumb crap.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No sure what the subject of car horn honking has to do with being new to the area. What's next, skim vs. whole milk?

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honking your horn simply means you are rude and intolerant.

Chris McIntire

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"go buckeyes!" nailed it.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MMM...hmmm. I likes whole milk with my mustard biscuits....

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the old saying "We don't care how you do it up North." This saying applies to many things in life especially driving habits. Assimilate or go back to where you are more comfortable. North Carolina as Containment Area for Relocated Yankees. Its about 2 hours east of here just South of Raleigh.

North Carolina Native

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the saying "Stupid is as Stupid does".
You can apply it to all Southern habits.

Not so sure you are aware of it, but we are all one big country. Have been for quite some time now.

Get use to it Hillbilly before I smack that toothless smurk off your face.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

North Carolina Native,

Yankee ? What are you 12 years old ?

You people just continually prove to the world that the stereotypes are correct. You make it very difficult for normal Southerners to gain respect.

Please put your gun away, take down the rebel flag, stop hating the blacks and gays and do something constructive with your time.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a tough guy. Keep hiding behind your monitor til Mommy tells you it's nap time.

Funny you should berate the South, now that just about every other part of the US is appropriating things that originated here.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love how people bash the South and then come here in droves. Yet, you wonder why others are resistant to the changes you all bring with you.

New pet peeve I've noticed over the past few days with all the rain- when people don't turn their headlights on in the rain. It's NC law to have your headlights on if you're operating your windshield wipers.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who started berating who first ?
I believe the Yankee comments started first as they always do. Southern hospitality my ass. It's an old war - you lost - you would lose again - get over it - move on.

What a joke you are to our entire nation. But then again, you give Jerry Springer fresh material all the time.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's NY law as well. My bet is that it's likely the Southerners with the lights out.

And we are here for jobs and weather and because it is OUR country. Not your own little world. Frigin' Morons.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is bashing the South. However, Southerners love to bash everyone else because they think they are born with halo's around their heads. If you want to be taken seriously, stop posting ignorant crap about "Yankees" and other people and then you will find that you will not be stereotyped as stupid rednecks.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Leigh said...

OK guys, this wasn't meant to be a North vs. South issue - it's about driving styles. With all this immature name-calling, I'm thisclose to shutting off comments on this post. Dial it back. --Blog administrator.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to all the jobs elsewhere?

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is such a bad idea. It just serves as a forum to perpetutate the North vs.South argument. Every single time, it turns into the same argument. Can we get over it already?

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly ! Ignorant, Southern, Redneck, they are all stereotypes used to describe a type of person. It isn't a bash on all people down South. Thankfully these types are a much smaller percentage of our population.

By the way, Rednecks are also up North. If someone calls you a Redneck it doesn't mean they are bashing your Southern heritage. It just means you are an igorant fool. You could live North, South, East or West.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leigh, what are you talking about? You specifically stated in your article that the "honk is a Northeast driving ritual" and you do not expect this to turn into a North vs. South thread? You out of all people should know since half the natives living here are still living in the Civil War era...

And to the previous commenter, a lot of jobs are transferring people here. It isn't so easy to just get a new job depending on certain situations such as position, time you have been with the company, etc.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just honked at some stupid soccer mom today in her ugly Honda Odyssey mini-van because she doesn't know what to do at a four way stop and thinks that it is ok to just blow past the stop sign when it isn't even her turn yet. Stop driving your mini-van like a sports car. It is a big hunk of waster metal. Get a real car!

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it's only okay to crap on the Northerners when you are paid by the Observer. Otherwise, keep your comments off my blog?

Nice attitude.

You got honked at because you weren't showing consideration for other drivers. Most of us go on with our day and try to avoid future incidents. You chose to complain about it in a public forum and whine when others call you on it.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

North Carolina Native is definately a redneck.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redneck to the MAX.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like 'ta roll in 'da mud within' me hogs. Then I 'ins get fresh wit' 'em. I likes 'ta mak'em sqeeeeeeeeal.

North Carolina Native

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But wait, we ask that Hispanics who come to this country assimilate into our culture. If someone were to move to LA, Texas, or any other area they would be expected to assimilate into that new lifestyle. Why is it any different if people are moving into the southeast? A person should embrace the positive aspects of his/her new environment, rather than complain about how it is different than where he/she came from.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like to drive me piece of crap Ford pick up truck in the mud and jack the wheels up real high so I need a ladder to get in it and I love to drive it like I have an expensive sports car because I think I am so "cool" when really I look like a complete redneck idiot with my camo hat.

North Carolina Native

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I honk and "gesture" at people like you all the time. Its a safety issue most times, don't drastically slow down in traffic because you don't know where you are going. Turn somewhere and figure it out, then re-join traffic. You are putting others at risk with your bad driving and I am gonna honk to let you know.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only honk at people with NC tags who are driving badly or putting myself in danger on the road, everyone else is an assumed visitor, and I know not everyone is from Charlotte with NC tags, but its a safe assumption where I drive that you are indeed a resident or familiar with the area if you have NC tags. And I never honk at seniors, just not right to me and it only causes more problems for both of us.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a native New Yorker who has lived in Charlotte for 10 years now.
I've never used the horn on my car other than to beep and wave at someone.
I think the issue regarding driving here -- other than the fact there's too many darn cars on the road -- is that you have a fair number of retirees mixed with NASCAR fans. It's sort of a humorous mix, but can be not-so-good on the roads.

And Leigh, you need to learn how to word things different. Almost everything you write supposes that people in the south are so nice and people in the north or northeast are so rude. It's horrible stereotyping and not necessarily accurate.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have time to honk and gesture, then you are not in any real danger. Be an adult about it.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honking takes a second. Gesturing comes after the fact someone almost killed you or can't drive.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ If you are gesturing, then you probably weren't "almost killed" by the incident. Accidents are usually shocking and cause disbelief.

If you are flipping the bird and cursing, it's because your primary emotion is anger, not concern for safety.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what some of it comes down to is that Northerners get frustrated by how slow Southerners seem to do things. (Including driving, changing lanes, etc)

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Us "yankees" blow our horns at times, when the speed limit says 50mph and you're doing 25 when I have some where to be course I'm gonna blow the horn. I think it's more rude to go 20mph under the limit and hold people up than blow a horn.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey there, if you want to know more about a self driving car, learn about which car manufactures and startups are developing new technologies,
if you would like to buy a self driving car, or want to exchange your experiences with other users on our forum,
you came to the right site driverless car !

2:05 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home