A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

Waving "Thank you" while driving

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AlwaysQuizzical:
I was reading the thread about driving in Toronto and WA and it reminded me the custom of waving to say thanks to the driver behind you when you change lanes or merge and someone has slowed down to let you in. It seems to me like people do it less often than they did when I was a kid, so I was wondering about it. Is this a custom elsewhere? If you're from the U.S. do people in your part of the country wave when someone lets you in? Do you wave?

For me I always wave when people let me in. Always. And I'm a little offended when I let people in and they don't say thanks.

I'm also reminded of a quote from Jeff Foxworthy when I don't get the wave:  "I believe that if you let somebody cut in front of you in traffic and they don't give you the little "wave", it should be perfectly legal to get up underneath 'em, get 'em loose, and put 'em into the wall. "

Not that I condone doing that or that I ever get that mad when people don't!

Knitterly:
I always wave when someone lets me in.  They didn't have to and it often makes my life easier.  I change lanes as minimally as possible, so if I'm trying to merge it's usually because I have to get on or off the highway or main road.

It's a kindness, and I firmly feel that all kindnesses ought to be acknowledged.

And yes, I am a little miffed when I don't get the wave after letting someone in.

Outdoor Girl:
I don't wave if the space was there and the person didn't have to do anything.  If the person backs off to create a bigger space for me or someone lets me in, I always wave.

And yes, I do get a bit miffed when I let someone in and they don't wave.  I'm usually driving by myself so I've been known to yell 'You're welcome!' inside the car (windows are rolled up)

Brentwood:
Letting someone into traffic, facilitating smooth merging, or allowing lane changes aren't always or necessarily "kindnesses" - they are things we do to keep traffic flowing with minimal problems; yielding to other drivers even when not strictly "required" is one of the ways to do that. If someone DOES do something that is a kindness, I will always acknowledge them with a wave (not so much a thank you as an acknowledgement). However, if someone has to inconvenience other drivers to offer me what they think is a kindness, I actually get annoyed. An example would be holding up the traffic behind them to insist that I make my turn out of a parking lot, when in reality, I'm supposed to wait until traffic is clear before turning.

Sharnita:
I wave.  I also do a sarcastic thank you wave wave when they do somehting annoying as opposed to obscene gestures.

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