I’ve owned many cars since I turned 16, and one thing that’s always bugged me are lame car horns. I’m talking the little “meep meep” sounds you get out of many smaller cars. From what I can tell, they are pretty useless, not nearly loud or obnoxious enough to do their job well – specifically, to alert other drivers about an impending problem.
I’ve even been in a collision that could have been avoided had my car had a real horn. A woman didn’t check her blind spot and changed lanes right into me, and she just couldn’t hear my car’s lame beeeeeep.
For some reason, I assumed it was a function of car size, because smaller cars tended to have lamer horns, and larger cars had more effective horns. Then I got a 350Z, and it, too, had a real horn, unlike previous models of the 3XX series. So obviously car size has nothing to do with it.
Well, now my lease is running out on my mangina (Honda CRV), and while it’s a fine (if boring) car, the horn drives me nuts. It’s sooooo freakin’ lame. I don’t use it to honk in traffic and annoy nearby folks, I just want it in case of a genuine emergency and I want to make sure that folks around me can hear it in that case.
So I have several questions regarding lame beeping car horns (in the U.S.):
1 - are they less safe than louder, easier to hear horns? (I’m assuming yes, but don’t want to rely on assumptions)
2 - if so, why do car manufacturer’s use quieter horns that are harder to hear?
3 - now that I’m shopping for a new car, how do I get the dealer to put in a real horn as a condition of purchase. Is this something that’s doable? Short of low-riders that honk the opening notes of “La Cucaracha” I’m not familiar with car horn transplant procedures.
4 - While we’re on the subject, what idiot car makers decided to make turn signals red instead of yellow? Talk about blending in with the brake lights and being harder to see! Are these items that can be changed to safer yellows as well, if I decide on a car that has this moronic feature? :smack: