2014 Volume 35 Issue 6 Pages 309-317
In Japan, drivers frequently use their vehicle horn as a signal in various situations such as when passing each other. Furthermore, pedestrians are honked at by drivers. Such horn use may create noise problem for people nearby. Therefore, a questionnaire survey was carried out to ascertain the current circumstance of vehicle horn use in Kanto and Kansai of Japan, while a similar survey was previously carried out in Fukuoka. Respondents were asked about the latest or last-remembered case of horn use in various situations of being drivers and pedestrians. With regard to an experience of being honked at by another driver, the questionnaire included questions relating to the aim of horn use, the timing pattern of the horn, and the respondent's psychological reaction. The results revealed that drivers' brief and frequent vehicle horn use to express gratitude or gain another's attention in various places from narrow lanes to main roads was similar among the three surveyed areas including Fukuoka. Long honks and horn use to gain another's attention or to alert another to danger remarkably aroused negative psychological reactions in pedestrians. No significant difference in the manner of the driver's horn use was found among the three surveyed areas.