Drivers Use Car Horns in Excess, For Wrong Reasons
GEORGIA – An article online at nationalpost.com discusses the car horn and how drivers all over the world are using it in excess and for the wrong reasons.*
The car horn came about not long after cars became more popular in the 20th century. It was developed as a way to let other drivers and pedestrians know of danger. These days, car horns are rarely used for genuine warnings. They serve mostly as a way for drivers to express frustration with other drivers. In congested cities, this means car horns are sounding constantly.
Residents of busy cities are growing increasingly tired of listening to the continual blaring of horns, and some cities in the U.S., including Atlanta, Georgia, have passed no-honking policies. Under the policies, people who honk their horns frivolously can be ticketed and fined. However, the ordinances are rarely enforced.
Not only are the horns annoying, but they can actually cause detrimental health effects. In Kolkata, India, for example, a study from the late 2000s found that vehicle noise at busy intersections in the city was 200 percent higher than safe limits for people’s ears. The noise, researchers concluded, was permanently damaging the hearing abilities of about half of the city’s population.
Other studies in the United States have found that typical road noise can adversely affect the mental and physical health of people in urban areas. The harmful health effects can include high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, changes in stress hormone production, and lasting cardiovascular issues.
Drivers out on the road should remember the intended purpose of the car horn and the negative effects of too much noise in cities and practice restraint in horn use.
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