Is it Illegal to Drive Without a Horn in Michigan? | Goodwin & Scieszka

Is it Illegal to Drive without a Horn in Michigan?

by / Monday, 16 December 2013 / Published in Michigan Law

One car can be very different from another, but there are certain features that nearly all cars have in common. For example, whether you’re driving a top-of-the-line luxury vehicle or the least expensive car on the lot, they’re both going to have basic features like seat belts and turn signals. They should also both have functioning car horns.

Things like seat belts and turn signals play such an important role in vehicle safety that there are laws mandating their use. But many people might be surprised that car horns are treated the same way.

Is it Illegal to Drive Without a Horn?

Yes, it is absolutely against the law to drive without a properly working horn in Michigan:

Sec. 706. (a) A motor vehicle, including a motorcycle or moped, when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet but a horn or other warning device shall not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle. The driver of a motor vehicle shall when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation give audible warning with his horn but shall not otherwise use the horn when upon a highway.
(b) A vehicle shall not be equipped with nor shall a person use upon a vehicle a siren, whistle, or bell, except as otherwise permitted in this section.

• Your horn should be audible at a distance of 200 ft. or greater
• It must be in good working order
• It should not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound

Brown dog standing on drivers seat against steering wheel

This is a basic function that you need whenever driving your car. Failure to use your horn could be submitted as evidence of negligence if you’ve been sued in a Michigan car accident claim.

Why Car Horns are Important

To give you an idea of how important car horns are for safety, did you know that car horns have been around even longer than many of the basic vehicle features we take for granted today, like seat belts and turn signals? When people don’t use car horns the way they’re supposed to, yes, they can be annoying to listen to. But when used for their intended purposes, they can be an extremely important tool for staying safe on the road. A car horn can protect you from vehicles that merge without looking. It can tell another driver that the light is green. It can even protect you from a suspicious person approaching your vehicle. If you see a pedestrian who may be in danger, you can use your car horn to warn them. The bottom line is that  your car horn can potentially save lives.

Stay tuned for our blog for more information about Michigan law law and more tips to stay safe and avoid potential liability. Our goal is to reduce the very injuries that we often defend. Stay tuned…

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