After landing in Qingdao, which is the closest city to Haiyang with an airport, I quickly learned just how much Chinese drivers love their car horns. In the month before I moved to China, I probably used my horn twice while driving around Pittsburgh. Most likely, it was at a crucial time like seconds before someone was about to hit my car while switching lanes on the highway. The Chinese would consider this a waste of the car horn’s many possibilities.
Here, the horn is used to let a car twenty feet ahead of you know that you are behind it. Why you would need to do that, I don’t know. The horn is also used to let a car know you are passing it, whether you are illegally passing it on a two lane road or legally passing on a four lane highway (with your car in the far left lane; theirs in the far right). Upon approaching an intersection–even those with no cars in sight–a Chinese driver is bound to honk. Similarly, a driver will give a quick, yet loud honk, to let a person walking on a sidewalk know they see them as they whiz by. Just for good measure, I guess.
Don’t believe me? Check out the video at the link below:
That’s right, folks, our taxi driver honked 21 times in 56 seconds. Honk! Honk!