Monday, 16 August 2010

Car horns with remarkable powers

Outside of the Middle East, little is known about the remarkable power of the car horn. But as any driver from the region will tell you; car horns are an indispensable tool for any journey.

Despite the car horn's limited use in Europe, the car horn in Abu Dhabi has three main uses. It's used as

  • a money making device

  • a traffic congestion disperser

  • the cars main safety feature

How have Abu Dhabi's drivers managed to benefit so much from the humble car horn?

A money making device – Firstly, the horn provides an excellent opportunity for the Abu Dhabi taxi driver to make more money. The Abu Dhabi taxi driver will be driving along and see an individual (me) contently walking down the street. Obviously, because I'm not in a car I must need a taxi. And the Abu Dhabi taxi driver can't pass on a fare, so will he'll beep the individual (me).

Now I'll be honest, when someone beeps at me, I don't get into their car. Maybe I'm a prude or something. But it must work because every taxi driver does it every time they pass anyone walking down any street.

A traffic congestion disperser – There are a lot of cars in Abu Dhabi. Most of them are parked illegally in order to provide a constant driving challenge. Often, as in most cities, traffic jams build up at traffic lights or when a car pulls to the side of the road. Thankfully in Abu Dhabi, we have the car horn to solve traffic congestion.

Should there be an obstruction up ahead causing a traffic jam, the car horn may be triggered. If a single friendly hoot isn't sufficient to clear the jammed cars ahead, it's usual practice to repeat the friendly hoot. In general, keep hooting until until the traffic clears. Now, I'm not sure how the car horn clears traffic, but again, it must work because whenever a car hits traffic in Abu Dhabi, the driver will play a rhythm on their car horn until the traffic clears. Maybe it's the sound pressure or something.

The car's main safety feature – Those people who designed all those cars really didn't need to bother with seat belts, air bags and ABS. And do we really need so many lessons about how to drive safely? We already have everything we need in the car horn. When your speeding down the road and a car is approaching the junction, ride the horn until it forces them to stop. And it's not a friendly hoot, it's a constant drone - it's 'safety first' here, guys.

This safety technique can also be used during under/overtaking so that everyone can maintain their constant speed. Again, I don't understand how this works, but every time a drivers gets into a dangerous situation, a bit of prolonged pressure on the horn seems to repel all danger.

So there we have it. The secret power of the car horn. And it also provides an incessant, never ending and bleeding loud soundtrack. Bonus.

Oh yeah, I've also realised another thing about driving during my time in Abu Dhabi. Indicating when you're planning to turn isn't necessary. If you must, do it just as you turn the corner, because lights on cars are pretty! And don't bother indicating if you plan to drive in front of a pedestrian, they wouldn't know what it meant anyway... just go ahead and drive... your car is so big they're bound to see it and act evasively.

1 comment:

  1. Paul. Stumbled onto your blog and its been a funny read! I lived in Abu Dhabi last year and its funny to see someone else's perspective to living there.

    Though this post on the driving had me in stitches. I drove in Abu Dhabi and the bad driving there exposed my dormant road rage!

    But have subsequently moved to Libya and now in comparison, the driving in Abu Dhabi seems organised!

    Anyway, enjoy the place! cheers


living in the United Arab Emirates