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Gripping Noise

White knuckle car horn.
  [vote for,

Most new cars produced (in the U.S. anyway) have little thumb-activated horn buttons. A private poll (two pet store employees) concluded that very few people actually drive with their hands on ten and two, and as a result have limited access to their car's horn in an emergency.

The only time you really use your car horn is when you are driving like a maniac, or when someone else is driving like a maniac. If somebody tries to sideswipe you, your reaction is generally a sharp intake of breath and a tightening of your grip on the steering wheel followed by a quick swerve out of harm’s way. All of this takes less than half of a second, and somewhere in it you are expected to fit the blaring of our car's horn, to let the other driver know you are there.

A car horn embedded in the grip of the steering wheel would eliminate the need to fumble for the horn in an emergency. The steering wheel would have a wire running through a groove beneath the surface of the grip surface, and a metal plate between the grip and the wheel. When gripped tightly, the wire would be forced out of the groove by the pressure and would touch the plate, completing the circuit and activating the horn.

With this mechanism in place, you could devote your entire attention to the obstacles around you when maneuvering instead of fumbling for the horn. This would also discourage white-knuckled crazy driving during rush hour because driving like a maniac would attract unnecessary attention to your car, possibly alerting law enforcement of your nefarious activities. *

*Note: the white-knuckled crazy driving described in this idea does not necessarily reflect the driving of the author or the reader.

Condiment, Nov 14 2003

Rim blow steering wheels http://www.fordtori...teering%20wheel.htm
Horn button in inner wheel rim [wombat, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       This reader does the white-knuckled crazy driving. (+) because I hate trying to lay on my horn and drive one-handed.
flamingcrackmonkey, Nov 14 2003

       My dad had a Lincoln Mark V with this feature. It scared me whenever I drove it because it would occasionally activate by accident. So it was at least baked on that car.
wombat, Nov 14 2003

       My horn might go off at many inanimate objects in the course of my white-nuckled maniac driving....
KLRico, Nov 14 2003

       of course a punch bag down in front of your passenger seat might be ... oh wait...
po, Nov 14 2003

       Personally, I'm a fan of the classic Dixie-style horn ramblings of the Dukes of Hazard ... only on my motorcycle
Letsbuildafort, Nov 14 2003

       Small horn buttons came about at the same time as airbags. Recently, car makers seem to have figured out how to have both an airbag and a big horn button in the middle of the steering wheel, so your specific problem is going away.
toiyabe, Nov 14 2003

       The specific problem is not that the horn is in the center of the steering wheel or on two little buttons, but that it's difficult to reach the horn quickly in an emergency. The reason the horn is controlled by the grip is so that you don't have to adjust your hands from their position on the wheel, and you won't unneccesarily lose control of your car fumbling for the horn.
Condiment, Nov 14 2003

       How about a voice-activted horn? When the driver yells 'Horn!' (or whatever 4-letter word they've trained it with), the horn honks.
Hmm, I see this is already half-baked in [Alcin]'s comment on the "voice activated horn" idea.
benjamin, Nov 14 2003

       Those air-bag/horn combos scare me. I can imagine someone laying on the horn as they skid along an icy road toward the back of another car. On impact, the airbag inflates, ripping their arm off at the shoulder...
Freefall, Nov 15 2003

       Testing... SHIT! *Honk*. FUCK! *Honk*. You're right, Benjamin. Me like.
thumbwax, Nov 15 2003

       Jeez some comments are still around. I had no idea what it was I had supposedly said until I checked it out. That was over three years ago. Boy a lots happened since then. Perhaps the loudness of the horn could be commensurate with the epithet used. "Damn"=Honk; "Shit!"=HONK; "FUCK"=EARTHQUAKE
Alcin, Nov 17 2003


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