Should You Honk At People In Anger? A Cargument

Anger-honking is the bane of my existence! It’s not effective, and it’s never anything more than obnoxious. But some disagree, and that’s the subject of this week’s Cargument.


This is a contentious matter, so I enlisted our friend, Professional Video Game Expert Tim Rogers from Kotaku, to help settle the matter. (Don’t worry, he’s a former Crown Victoria Police Interceptor owner. He can hang.)

Tim’s pro-honking. Yet as I think about honking, I imagine some situations where you’d want to do it, but would ultimately fail at your attempt.


Scenario A: You’re a pedestrian, biker, or passersbyer… As you proceed down the street, it rings out. If you’re in a city like New York, the sound slams off the walls repeatedly and into your earholes. The honking serves no purpose but to satisfy the one whose hand presses down upon it. Nothing is corrected by the evil cry. Your ears deteriorate and you swallow the anger it stirs. The world is made a little more miserable.

Scenario B: You’re one of the other people stuck behind the a-hole up front. It begins. The endless wail of the horn rings out for an exorbitant amount of time. That first spike of adrenaline as you’re caught off guard by it’s attack, followed by that agitation as you wait for it to die down. Too long thereafter, the moment you surely suspect it should end approaches, you’re sure it’ll end, but it doesn’t. The moment passes and the horn rages on. Will the person ever stop? What will it take to stop them? Will you go to prison if you take the necessary action to rectify the issue?

Scenario C: You ARE the honker. You’re slighted. Something is amiss in the world. Perhaps someone stopped abruptly. Perhaps they aren’t moving at the green light. You have no patience for this. They need to be taught a lesson they won’t forget. You slam down upon the horn-button-of-anger as if to strike with the powerful resolve of the ancient crescent blade of the green dragon. The perpetrator of your great wronging has been vanquished. But they haven’t. You’ve merely wounded them. Left them to fight another day. And now you’ve made enemies of all in the land.

In another age, one would be dispatched for such evil ways. But we live in the modern world, and you’ve only succeeded in, at best, begrudgingly getting someone to move. You’ve made sure enemies of them and all in the area. And even if you count it as a victory it is temporary and dangerous.


Temporary because there will be yet another who will perpetrate a great road-crime against you in the near future. This wasn’t even a band-aid to the problem at large.

Plus, it’s dangerous because should the one you honk at be vindictive, you may have vengeance visited upon you. And you will not have the support of those around you in your attempt to survive the debacle.

Senior Video Producer at Jalopnik. With great horsepower comes great responsibility.


If you’re getting honked at more than once a year you’re probably a really bad driver. I can’t tell you the last time I was legitimately honked at. I honk at someone at least 3 times a week. People suck at driving and need reminded of this at any chance. Honking is strictly for my enjoyment. I couldn’t care less what other people think. In fact, I’ve been eyeing really loud horns to replace my stock beep.