Steve The Bike Guy

News & Updates

Share the Road: Why Honking Doesn’t Help

It can be tempting, when approaching a cyclist (or cyclists) who doesn’t seem aware of your presence, to give your horn a light honk. Or, as in the case of some other drivers we’ve met on the roads, to aggressively lay on the horn.

But the fact is, honking your horn at a cyclist may do the opposite of what you intended.

Consider the sound – from the comfort of your vehicle, a horn may not sound particularly loud. But from outside the car, even a light tap can be deafening! If, in fact, the rider does not know you were behind them (some cars are very quiet), your honk can startle the rider and cause him or her to veer into the road (remember: treat a cyclist like a horse).

Repeatedly laying on the horn, while clearly very satisfying for some, is a belligerent act that can be very frightening to the rider, and in the case of this driver from Colorado, can lead to a citation.

So what should you do if you don’t think a rider knows you are behind them? As we’ve written before, patience is the key. Give the rider time to “catch up” to your presence, and pass when it is safe.

Pass along this tip – together we can ride, and drive, safely!