Honking in tunnels?

Is there some sort of tradition or superstition or whatnot about honking your horn in a tunnel? We have several here (TN) and everytime I go in one there is a cacaphony of horn blowing, I don’t get it. I don’t want to be a curmudgeon if it’s a good luck thing or something but I can’t see the reason to scare the beejeebus out of people by honking your horn all through a tunnel. Does anyone know the deal with this? :shrug:
PS. All of the tunnels are one way traffic so it’s not to signal oncoming cars in a curve or anything.

Oh my, how annoying. Google shows me that a lot of people think it’s fun to hear the echoes and that it develops some sort of community among the drivers.

I hope that “fun” never comes to Nevada. Alas, we do have many (motor)cyclists who think it’s really fun to rev their engines through a tunnel. Don’t get me wrong: loud pipes save lives. But that’s just bordering on malicious.

Maybe it’s time to start buying up stock in hearing aid companies.

Maybe this is why it’s ok. As a kid, it was fun to hear the horns in a long tunnel, and I’ll honk if I have kids in the car with me now and it seems to be acceptable where I’m at.

There’s a tunnel in Zion National Park that we had to go through (and honk) everytime we visited the grandparents and I still get nostalgic when I travel through it today.

I would always beg my parents to, and did it as a teen myself, and sometimes now in the summer - love that horn echo, and if other drivers join in I smile, so much happy, fun noise occasionally makes me happy :mrgreen:

Now, I on the other hand, am scared to death of tunnels. I guess I’m a bit claustrophobic in them. So, if I’m driving behind you honking the horn, it’s because I’m in a hurry to get OUT!

I know that it’s normal to honk your horn when going through narrow tunnels so that people don’t enter from the otherside while you’re driving through. There is a tunnel near the ferry I take for work and you have to honk your horn the whole way through so that no one enters the otherside while taking a wide turn

Generaly, New Zealand’s tunnel-honking is done because it makes a cool sound when you do it :stuck_out_tongue:


I figured it was due to some legend or something, I didn’t realize that people like to listen to their horns and other people’s.
I know the first time I experienced it I was on my motorcycle in the left lane, some guy started honking like a maniac and I gave it some throttle and moved over thinking he was out to run me over. Then, the guy I just got in front of started honking, I thought to myself “what gives!!! I moved for these maniacs and they’re still honking!!!” I ended up speeding out of the tunnel thinking some maniacs were on a death race for me.

Gee, here I was thinking it was some safety thing- like to warn passerbys that someone is coming out of the tunnel. My dad always honks when he comes out of an alley or a blind corner. I know I should, but I always forget and I’m always wondering why my dad is honking when there is no one around :teehee:.


I heard it was to scare away goblins

That’s what my mom said anyway.

:oops: I honk in tunnels just to hear my car horn. :oops:

This thread is cracking me up. I don’t live in a land with lots of tunnels (though I walk through one every day to get to my car, but that’s different! ;)) so this is an entirely new thing to me. When I did live where there were lots of tunnels they were mostly subway tunnels so there was no honking. I have never known people to do this. I am sure it would startle the heck out of me if i were to experience it and i wouldn’t have even though to do it… until now. lol. hilarious. and yeah, i will TOTALLY do it now!

I’ve always honked because it’s fun to hear the horns. :teehee:

Weird. My family never honked going through a tunnel, and I can’t remember ever hearing anyone else do it.

Maybe it’s a non-Northeast thing???

OMG! This thread is making me laugh out loud! :roflhard: Where I’m from we honk going through tunnels to hear the echo too. I never thought to ask why people do it, I just did it too. :teehee:

[B]Starburst[/B], that just scares me to think you have to hope to God no one in coming at the same time you are! Here they have stop lights so one lane can go through at a time and no one has to fear for their lives. :teehee:

bailsmom–I think it’s just one crazy old tunnel in Tacoma where they do this. Once you’re in the tunnel, there is plenty of room, but at the entries it is a little sketchy.

Interesting question. I can tell you that runner’s are equally noisy in tunnels. The Detroit FreePress marathon uses the under water tunnel between the US and Canada and it’s a constant stream of hootin’ and hollerin’ runners. I’ve done it every time too! It’s a fun noise and it’s just a neat thing to hear echoes.

I can’t say that I recall horn blowing in the tunnel though; then again I’ve ran through it more than I’ve driven it.

The only time I’ve seen someone honk around a tunnel is in narrow 1-lane tunnels where you need to let someone know “Hey - there’s someone in here! Wait your turn!” I live in an area where tunnels are common (there are three big tunnels used to ferry traffic into and out of downtown Pittsburgh, plus a few tunnels on the PA turnpike) and have never heard anyone do this. I’d probably wonder where the problem was.

Now the problem of people slowing down through tunnels happens a lot around here, though. I always figured that had something to do with your eyes adjusting to the light/dark.