This comes as a surprise to many people, but I am an unapologetic car horn honker.
A month in Egypt apparently converted me to the powers of the car horn. But seriously, there is no more effective way to communicate with other drivers. My very first car didn't have a functioning horn for the first couple of weeks. Sure enough, someone tried to merge into me, and I couldn't do anything about it! (Something about me attracts unsafe merging.)
I (generally) don't honk out of anger. However, one of my primary purposes in honking is to publicly shame other drivers. I like to call it "positive peer pressure." In other words, "You've done something unacceptable, you should know that was unacceptable, and I saw you. Feel shaaaame."
Now let's consider the "logical" process I worked through as I continued to drive (no honking was necessary, actually):
- Honking is probably embarrassing someone, which would probably violate that mitzvah.
- But maybe this is pikuach nefesh (saving a life).
- Bad drivers are certainly a threat to my life and the lives of others. By pointing out their dangerous actions, hopefully they'll avoid doing it in the future, thus maybe saving a life in a future that never happens. (Yay sci-fi and theoretical physics! Questionable halachic argument?)
- But sometimes I honk at them for something that's only stupid or careless, not dangerous.
- Even stupid actions can place people in danger because that's a huge hunk of metal traveling at a high rate of speed compared to a pedestrian or smaller car. Even not paying enough attention can be dangerous. Maybe I've woken them back up from whatever stupor they were in.
- Even something as stupid as when I honk at them for not going fast enough when the light turns green?
- Yes. I will totally justify it with the stupor argument. Obviously they weren't paying enough attention.
- But just in case, maybe it qualifies as a rebuke?
- Is the other driver receptive to my rebuke? I don't know. That's a good question. How could I ever possibly know that?
And...scene. I hit the brick wall of an unknowable fact.
If it's any consolation, I take what I dish out. I'm pretty absent-minded, even when driving. And I do feel shamed when someone honks at me when I know I've done something stupid.
Thoughts? Welcome to my brain, this is what it's always like. And from what I understand, I'd fit in perfectly in Israeli driving culture. With the honking, at least. I'm a very non-aggressive driver otherwise. I even drive the speed limit. That's a mitzvah too, ya know :P