Due Care for pedestrians: Honk your horn!

In yesterday’s discussion about dooring laws, Richard W points out IC 9-21-8-37 from Indiana, which says in part:

A person who drives a vehicle shall … exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or a person propelling a human powered vehicle, giving an audible signal when necessary.

Holy Noise Pollution, Batman! If you’re exercising due care, how often should somebody need to honk at a pedestrian?

A quick Internet shows me that several other states also have this law on the books, including Nebraska, Utah, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Wyoming, the District of Columbia and more. Was this in the Uniform Vehicle Code? Does it date from the era of the horse and buggy when an audible signal was the toot of a squeeze bulb horn or a vocal utterance to give way.

Richard does suggest that this provision can be used to ticket the perpetrator in a dooring collision in those states without a dooring law.


  1. I can see an application for this. If you are driving out of a blind alley and have to cross a sidewalk to get to the cross-street you should proceed slowly and honk to alert pedestrians you are approaching.

  2. The archaic NJ MVC also requires a motorist to sound the horn before overtaking on a rural road. Unfortunately, this seems to be the one thing remembered from driver’s ed regarding cyclists for (mostly elderly) motorists who insist on blasting me their horns when they’re a few feet off my rear wheel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.