According to a recent survey, many find the car horn beeping sound too stressful


According to a survey carried out in South Korea, many of us find the beeping sound of a car horn very stressful and think it would be a good idea to replace the sound with the quack of a duck!

Yes, you did read correctly – a duck’s quack is what the majority of the 100 volunteers taking part in the survey decided was the best sound to use for notifying pedestrians that a car is approaching without causing too much stress.

The research was carried out at Soongsil University in Seoul, South Korea, where they studied the history of the car horn and its development.

According to a recent survey, many find the car horn beeping sound too stressful

Car horns replaced with the sound of ducks – how quackers is that! © Copyright Barbara Carr and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The car horn was first introduced for a motorised vehicle over 100 years ago and was developed by Oliver Lucas from Birmingham, England. During the early part of the 20th century, most cars used a traditional ‘ahooga’ sound which was eventually replaced with the sound we all know and recognise today.

As part of the study, the team focused on the existing historic klaxon sound origin but made a few modifications regarding its volume and rhythm with duration time by introducing a power controller.

“Our new Klaxon sound can immediately alert the pedestrians of the danger while also reducing the unpleasantness and stress of the sound,” said head researcher at the University, Myung-Jin Bae.

Those taking part in the study were asked to listen and rank possible car horns on a scale of one to five, considering the loudness of the horn and the actual sound they make.

The sound that came out on top and ruffled the least feathers was a duck’s quack – it caused the less stress yet managed to grab people’s attention.


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