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DTMark

Car Horns - Design Madness

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Why is the horn switch in the middle of the steering wheel on most cars?

My first car was an MG Metro. Horn activated by pressing a button on the end of the stalk right of the wheel. You could hit that easily in an emergency if need be without moving your right hand off the wheel or looking to see where it is.

Every other car including the one we have has the switch built into the middle of the steering wheel.

Making it useless, because in an emergency you can't press it, since you need both hands to steer the car.

I ponder this since today saw my second very near head-on crash in as many weeks; we have a new development of houses here and other older ones are for sale (can't help but think that might just be related). The lanes are just wide enough in most places for two cars to pass with care.

We have "property tourists" in the village every weekend. Not only do they not know the roads, but they are literally paying no attention at all to where they are going, looking out of the side of the car not ahead.

As a result, they're coming head-on with 50%+ of their car in "my" lane and only just spot they're about to crash at the last second. There's nowhere to swerve to and no way to avoid them, all you can do is brake, and hope.

I would use the horn but that would cause me to have to take one hand off the wheel and/or look down to see which bit activates it to press it.

I'm tempted to wire in a switch somewhere else as I'm getting rather concerned now.

Why this design madness?

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I recommend the installation of a compressed air system and a footvalve on the floor as the simplest solution to your problem. Onboard compressed air will also mean no more trips to the garage to inflate your tyres. Oh, and you can make it sound like this too:

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Get a Mercedes or Volvo. I seem to recall they have got horn switched in easy reach of a normal drivers thumbs.

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Agreed. In the two or three times that I could have done with my car horn I've had to look where it is and the moment when it would have helped is then passed.

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Guest eight

I have to laugh at those drivers who accelerate on purpose to create near miss situations, just so that they can slam their brakes on and beep their horns. They must have pretty empty lives.

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I have to laugh at those drivers who accelerate on purpose to create near miss situations, just so that they can slam their brakes on and beep their horns. They must have pretty empty lives.

I've not experienced this when driving myself but saw it a lot when a passenger in my ex's car. She's a good driver, better than me tbh, but this kept happening, mainly on roundabouts. All I can see that being is these twunts picking on women drivers as they know there will be no comeback.

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I recommend the installation of a compressed air system and a footvalve on the floor as the simplest solution to your problem. Onboard compressed air will also mean no more trips to the garage to inflate your tyres. Oh, and you can make it sound like this too:

That made me chuckle. Small pleasures...

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I have to laugh at those drivers who accelerate on purpose to create near miss situations, just so that they can slam their brakes on and beep their horns. They must have pretty empty lives.

I had this a few years back, at a point where the road narrowed and it was give way to oncoming vehicles. It being clear, I pulled out to go through the 30 metre narrow section. Round the bend comes a car pulling a trailer and he proceeds to accelerate towards the chicane. He gets there before I do and honks his horn and waves his arms frantically. I look at him with bemusement as he leans out of the window and says he can't reverse as he has a trailer. I replied that I could see that he can't drive and gave him a smile and a wave and reversed back to let him through. As he passed I wished him a good day as well which must have infuriated him. He was a late-middle aged gentlemen who from his accent seemed to be Italian which may explain his driving. I could have had a standoff/argument with him but you know what, I was on holiday with my children and why let an asshole dictate your actions? He must have felt so small by failing to get the reaction he was looking for.

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Why is the horn switch in the middle of the steering wheel on most cars?

My first car was an MG Metro. Horn activated by pressing a button on the end of the stalk right of the wheel. You could hit that easily in an emergency if need be without moving your right hand off the wheel or looking to see where it is.

Every other car including the one we have has the switch built into the middle of the steering wheel.

Making it useless, because in an emergency you can't press it, since you need both hands to steer the car.

I ponder this since today saw my second very near head-on crash in as many weeks; we have a new development of houses here and other older ones are for sale (can't help but think that might just be related). The lanes are just wide enough in most places for two cars to pass with care.

We have "property tourists" in the village every weekend. Not only do they not know the roads, but they are literally paying no attention at all to where they are going, looking out of the side of the car not ahead.

As a result, they're coming head-on with 50%+ of their car in "my" lane and only just spot they're about to crash at the last second. There's nowhere to swerve to and no way to avoid them, all you can do is brake, and hope.

I would use the horn but that would cause me to have to take one hand off the wheel and/or look down to see which bit activates it to press it.

I'm tempted to wire in a switch somewhere else as I'm getting rather concerned now.

Why this design madness?

It's quite a good position for the act of venting angry frustration which is how most people seem to use it in reality, but you're right, it's a terrible place for warning of an impending accident.

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Guest eight

No need. Just order one with the Vietnamese specification.

Are they five dollars by any chance?

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I saw a really well looked after Volvo 940 estate F reg today just along the road. Tip top condition. Spanking.

Anyway totally off topic but thought the car bods on this thread may be interested in my drivel.

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Back to training drivers, you should have your hand ready to use the horn as soon as you see a possibility of the need arising. It was called "covering the horn".

The horn is simply a signal "I am here".

It should not be used to chastise.

Same with the brakes.

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I think having your hand on your horn probably causes accidents.

Or am I misunderstanding the whole thread?

you should keep your passengers under control.

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Back to training drivers, you should have your hand ready to use the horn as soon as you see a possibility of the need arising. It was called "covering the horn".

The horn is simply a signal "I am here".

It should not be used to chastise.

Same with the brakes.

I do exactly that with the brakes all the time especially on back-roads with side turnings and blind-spots. Defensive driving, I even did an advanced course and got to drive my car round the Police training skid-pan.

Faced with the horror - and it is actually quite terrifying - of a car coming straight at you that you're going to crash into, the first thought is the brakes followed by the horn. But in those circumstances I don't want to look away from the road.

Maybe I just need to practise using my horn (cue the jokes)

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I recently considered buying a bell for my push-bike. Wilco do a tiny lightweight one.

Then I realised I could dispense with the cost and weight altogether, and just shout "Get out of my way, you ****" instead.

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I recently considered buying a bell for my push-bike. Wilco do a tiny lightweight one.

Then I realised I could dispense with the cost and weight altogether, and just shout "Get out of my way, you ****" instead.

Was the first thing I took off my new bike when I got it years back. And the first thing I put back on it when I realised it saved me the effort of having to talk to every person I was going past.

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French drivers always know where the horn button is, it doesn't matter where it is, they'll find it.

Same for Italians, they can honk and steer even when holding a cigarette in one hand and gesticulating wildly with the other hand. ;)

@DTmark: the 'di' is out of place in your avatar header!

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