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Old 19th June 2011, 18:38   #1
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Default Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

I know at the outset one might wonder why I am saying that the horns are becoming irrelevant in Indian car scene.

Well here are some reasons why I am saying this:
  • Reduced NVH levels in cars: in recent cars the NVH levels are so less that horns outside are becoming unhearable, even if case some light music is being played in the car.
  • Immunity to horns: Frankly I am guessing with the growing number of cars blowing horns, frankly no one cares any longer about anyone blowing horns behind one's vehicle. In other countries, horns are a medium to say someone is not happy with driving, but in India horns are used uselessly. This makes one rather immune to any horns.
  • Prolonged AC: before the AC days there were open windows but nowadays no one I doubt if anyone bothers about the environment outside.
  • Music system:With good music systems and most of them people playing music I am doubting if they bother about horns.
Has anyone felt this way, using horns is no longer uselful in India. I mean cars dont care about it, lorries / buses never bother about it.
The only option of really using it is when a lone pedestrian comes in front of car. Other than that its of no use. In fact even "No Horn" areas end up being noisy. To be frank I rarely hear the horns myself sometimes, when someone is horning behind me.

Let me know if you feel the same in India. Is there a way to improve this?

Last edited by xingamazon : 19th June 2011 at 18:40.
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Old 19th June 2011, 18:43   #2
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

@xingamazon

I am slowly getting that same feeling as you, at least in Chennai and its suburbs. Even Pedestrians/cyclist don't seem to care and they seem to get offended with the usage of horns. Recently upgraded my Manza horn to roots vibrasonic along with a melody maker and the difference is nothing remarkable.
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Old 19th June 2011, 18:58   #3
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
I know at the outset one might wonder why I am saying that the horns are becoming irrelevant in Indian car scene

Let me know if you feel the same in India. Is there a way to improve this?
I totally agree with on this aspect of driving lol. even i keep on thinking whats the use of having no horning zones when in India or any of its cities you cant even think of getting out of the choc-a-block traffic created by other motorists, pedestrians and available poor road infrastructure.

With AC, Music System and other factors playing a keen role in ignorance of a person who`s horning behind/aside you, i simply can suggest one solution:

Get the BIGGER horn with Highest Decibels (being sarcastic, though it works wonders)

regards
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Old 19th June 2011, 19:30   #4
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
I know at the outset one might wonder why I am saying that the horns are becoming irrelevant in Indian car scene.
The car horn is relevant for it to serve as a warning to two wheelers alteast. It appears to be irrelevant for it to serve as any warning to other "closed vehicles". And yes, I think the truckers keep their windows open and most of them would hear you
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Old 19th June 2011, 19:44   #5
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

Here still in rural India if you don't honk pedestrians, even when they are in the middle of the road, will question and abuse the driver.

Horns will never become irrelevant here in India because, every driver has to honk when the vehicle in front slows down, be it be due to someone crossing the road abruptly or if there is any kind of obstruction warranting the car in front to slow down or stop.

Gone are the days where in an Ambassador every else made noise except the horn.Old saying.

Last edited by rajeev k : 19th June 2011 at 19:46.
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Old 19th June 2011, 19:51   #6
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Reduced NVH levels in cars: in recent cars the NVH levels are so less that horns outside are becoming unhearable, even if case some light music is being played in the car.
  • Immunity to horns: Frankly I am guessing with the growing number of cars blowing horns, frankly no one cares any longer about anyone blowing horns behind one's vehicle. In other countries, horns are a medium to say someone is not happy with driving, but in India horns are used uselessly. This makes one rather immune to any horns.
  • Prolonged AC: before the AC days there were open windows but nowadays no one I doubt if anyone bothers about the environment outside.
  • Music system:With good music systems and most of them people playing music I am doubting if they bother about horns.
What percentage of traffic do these vehicles include? 50-60% in metros, and far less in smaller cities.
There's a lot of mess on the Indian roads my friend, reduction in horn related noice should be the least of our concern.
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Old 19th June 2011, 20:30   #7
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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Originally Posted by raj_srini View Post
The car horn is relevant for it to serve as a warning to two wheelers alteast. It appears to be irrelevant for it to serve as any warning to other "closed vehicles". And yes, I think the truckers keep their windows open and most of them would hear you
Oh ya thats a good point, even I agree to an extent it might be relevant.
But fact remains lots of two wheelers nowadays listen to FM / songs when they are riding thier motorcycles. I am not sure about the extent of how it would affect them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Here still in rural India if you don't honk pedestrians, even when they are in the middle of the road, will question and abuse the driver.
Couldnt agree more, its good that its relevant in rural areas even now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
What percentage of traffic do these vehicles include? 50-60% in metros, and far less in smaller cities.
There's a lot of mess on the Indian roads my friend, reduction in horn related noice should be the least of our concern.
Frankly, I dint get what you are saying, are you saying its relevant or its not relevant?
Even I know there are lots of issues on the roads. Dont think I can mention all the issues in just one post, we have to take it one by one.
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Old 19th June 2011, 21:08   #8
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

IMHO horns are one of the most important safety devices in cars, at least in cities like Pune with a large population of 2 wheelers. I see a lot of 2 wheeler riders with complete disregard for even their own safety and life. And yes that includes women too. Probable reason is that there is no proper driver education and so a lot of times they never realize what kind of dangerous situations they put themselves in day in and day out.

So I use horns, sometimes prolonged ones (peeeeeeeeeeep kind) to warn 2 wheeler riders and make them aware of my car's presence.
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Old 19th June 2011, 21:18   #9
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

The reduction in NVH and the irrelevance of horns is the exact thought that came to my mind when I first saw the passat ad , I hope you know which one I am talking about !
In fact i agree with all your points xing and all of these would hopefully kill off the HORN.
I drove for 2 months in Mumbai traffic without a horn , took it as an experiment / challenge and believe me it does not slow one down neither does a horn help remove pedestrian or 2 wheeler traffic. I only badly missed the horn when i was stuck in a sea of people in Bandra(E) where there were people returning from their friday prayers - I turned up the music system volume , rolled down the windows so that people knew that a car was in their midst and let me crawl ahead . That incident apart nowhere did i feel that not having something to honk made any difference . It was a good learning and ever since I am minimalistic as far as honking is concerned mostly a short "honk" to warn an erratic driver, requesting him to keep an eye on his shoulder mirror, when I am overtaking him
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Old 19th June 2011, 21:35   #10
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

I use horns when
  • Cars abruptly stop in front of me
  • Warning Pedestrians walking like cattle in the middle of the road
  • Warning the bikers
  • Slow drivers cut across into fast lane or maintain slow speeds on fast overtake lanes (to mark my disapproval of the maneuvering)

Also I have noticed that Cars in rural areas have higher decibel horns and musical horns etc etc to scare away people.
There is even a video on youtube where a jeep driver scares away an elephant with loud musical horn. I guess the idea is to use the same technique with humans

Since the ambient noise in cities are more the horns now a days are not a botheration for the city wallahs. People only turn their attention to unusual noises like that of a brake screech or long uninterrupted horn.
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Old 19th June 2011, 21:41   #11
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

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Originally Posted by figo_mba View Post

There is even a video on youtube where a jeep driver scares away an elephant with loud musical horn. I guess the idea is to use the same technique with humans
No one can scare away an elephant with horn. If the person is lucky the elephant will walk away in disgust. Because if the Elephant gets angry. Nothing can save you.

Do not ever use a horn on an animal. When anyone encounters wild animals, the best approach is to stop and wait for them to cross and go away.

Keep the vehicle windows up. Do NOT do anything, which will attract their attention.

PS: figo_mba, my post is not directed at you in particular. I just hate it when people, (I DONT mean you), try to use their on animals.

Last edited by bblost : 19th June 2011 at 21:46.
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Old 19th June 2011, 21:54   #12
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

Honestly, I don't think the horn has become a vestigial organ in any car yet. If not for anything, one at least uses it on risky turns/patches. I remember I made generous use of the horn when I drove down from Mumbai to Matheran 7 years back.
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Old 19th June 2011, 22:24   #13
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

By no means is it irrelevant.

It may only have become less relevant in some of the cases as mentioned in the OP by xingamazon. Though it may sound politically incorrect, the only short term solution I can see to it (in cities with a lot of 4 wheelers with well insulated cabins etc) is to have a louder horn. (incidentally my wheels need a change in horn, and was mentioning only about an hour back, that I would want a louder one).

Over time, I have also noticed that drivers are more sensitive to light signals (dipper), which of course works only at night. This change may partly have to do with the cabins being better insulated, hence visual means becoming more important for the driver to be connected to the outside world.

Edit: It is also very useful in winding roads on hills, or other blind turns.

Last edited by Poitive : 19th June 2011 at 22:33.
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Old 19th June 2011, 22:27   #14
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
No one can scare away an elephant with horn. If the person is lucky the elephant will walk away in disgust. Because if the Elephant gets angry. Nothing can save you.

Do not ever use a horn on an animal. When anyone encounters wild animals, the best approach is to stop and wait for them to cross and go away.

Keep the vehicle windows up. Do NOT do anything, which will attract their attention.

PS: figo_mba, my post is not directed at you in particular. I just hate it when people, (I DONT mean you), try to use their on animals.
No one can scare an elephant with a horn ?
Sorry to disagree sir, but big trumpet air style horns (powered by automotive battery) are used to scare them in some parts of India to save the crops very close to the jungle from elephants. These are used by people in groups and not in an automobile. I am not sure if these tuskers are walking away in disgust or they are scared of these horns.
The video on youtube I saw(i do not endorse this in anyway) had the driver flashing the lights and standing on the horn (loud musical horn).

Yes i agree the best approach is to stay still and hope the animal walks away.
Personally once i encountered 3 elephants on the way to mysore from wayanad(NH 212)). I just stopped and waited for almost 3 minutes (which seemed like an hour). I was dead scared to be honest. The elephants went across the road. Next thing i remember is flooring the accelerator and making a run.

I am no animal lover and I have to say cattle on road is a nuisance. People who tether them close to roads are to blame.
I have to say now that recently i see a lot of animal hits on the road. In yester years when a car approaches an animal it is scared off but the animals (cats) do not move away and also try crossing the road when vehicles are on the road.
Dangerous really dangerous (if people swerve so as to not hit the animal)
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Old 19th June 2011, 22:37   #15
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Default Re: Are horns becoming irrelevant in India

I once drove my ex-Alto in Noida/Delhi without horn for about 6 months! Never felt uncomfortable really and to be fair, enjoyed the experience. At times I had to tail a two-wheeler etc or stop for others to cross and I always obliged!
Then unfortunately MASS repaired it when the car went for its scheduled service! This, when I hadnt even asked for it!
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