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Sounding the horn . . . how BMW drivers do it most

SOME of you won't like this ... especially if you drive a German car. New research suggests that you are likely to use the horn a lot more than most other drivers.

In a study of 2,000 motorists by webuyanycar.com and conducted by Onepoll, 53pc of BMW drivers admitted to using their horn at least once every journey. That is almost three times the average of 18pc.

In sharp contrast, nearly every driver of a Nissan (95pc) insisted that they never used their horns. And if they did, it was only in emergencies, as is normal.

In between the two extremes of horn-happy and shy were drivers of Jaguars (45pc), Fiats (43pc), Audis (39pc) and Saabs (29pc). The most frequent users excused themselves on several fronts.

These included:

• Another driver pulling out in front (52pc).

• When a vehicle stays put when the traffic lights go green (51pc).

• To alert other drivers of a danger (29pc).

Drivers also revealed they used the horn if and when they spotted another road user talking on a mobile phone.

They also 'beeped' when they saw a cyclist using incorrect road positioning. But, bless them, they resorted to the noisy alert as well to warn other drivers when travelling on winding country lanes. Many of those surveyed said they really hadn't a clue about when or where to use the horn.

According to the Road Safety Authority's rules of the road, you should only use a horn to:

• Warn other road users of oncoming danger.

• Make them aware of your presence for safety reasons when reasonably necessary.

The rules state: Remember, the horn does not give you the right of way."

And: "Do not use a horn in a built-up area between 23.30hrs and 07.00hrs unless there is a traffic emergency."

Just over half (52pc) of respondents said they believed the horn should be used to alert road users or a pedestrian to a dangerous situation. And 51pc said it could only be used in daylight.

There were, believe it or not, 6pc who believed the horn should only be used to express anger. The same percentage thought it should be used to alert people to their arrival or to let someone know they're waiting.

Irish Independent