Author Topic: Waving "Thank you" while driving  (Read 3777 times)

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AlwaysQuizzical

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Waving "Thank you" while driving
« on: December 04, 2011, 05:56:03 PM »
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

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2011, 06:12:04 PM »
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

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2011, 06:20:52 PM »
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)
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Brentwood

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2011, 06:21:39 PM »
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

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2011, 06:24:48 PM »
I wave.  I also do a sarcastic thank you wave wave when they do somehting annoying as opposed to obscene gestures.

MrsJWine

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2011, 07:00:24 PM »
I always wave. Where I used to live, people did it a lot. Here, I haven't noticed it so much. I think it probably just varies from area to area.

I, too, get annoyed when people do dangerous things to be "nice" to me--for instance, stopping dead in heavy traffic to let someone out of a parking lot. If you're already going to be stopping at that light, and you leave some space for that person instead of pulling up right behind the car in front of you, it's a kindness. If you're moving along at a good clip, and you stop suddenly to let that person in, you're endangering the people around you and irritating me. I feel awkward taking a favor like that, know what I mean?


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AlwaysQuizzical

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2011, 07:06:06 PM »
I get the Dangerous Kindness all the time!!! I'll be turning left against traffic  across two lanes to get to a building and someone in the lane closest to me will stop and let me through, while the other lane keeps moving. So I'm sitting there waiting for the other lane to be clear and the person who stops inevitably gets mad and starts honking at me to GO!!! I have no idea what they're thinking. "Go, Go! Drive into traffic and get hit already!!"

MamaCaz

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2011, 07:15:45 PM »
I frequently wonder about this.  I am in Australia, have been driving for 20 years and feel that people are generally less considerate on the roads these days.  We live near a busy road with a Keep Clear at the intersection where I would turn onto that road.  It is common for drivers to block that intersection, so while I agree that keeping an intersection clear is not a 'kindness', it is rare enough to warrant a wave.  I always mouth 'thank you', smile and give a wave.

More generally, there seems to be such a lack of basic manners in our day to day interactions that any effort I can make to 'normalise' manners is worthwhile, and of course, be an example to my children. :D

Haha!  Dangerous Kindness!  Yes, drives me batty having to defend my decision not to drive into oncoming traffic just because someone has held up traffic in one lane and then is angry at me!  It's kind of funny, except when it's happening to you.

oz diva

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2011, 07:19:05 PM »
I wave too, I wave when someone lets me in and I wave when someone lets me through (eg if there's a parked car in the way). I don't expect to be waved at when I let someone in, but I do like an acknowlegement if I've let someone through.

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Bluenomi

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2011, 11:12:43 PM »
I always do it though I've noticed that the youngins don't tend to do it.

On another note, I must be getting old

Isometric

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2011, 11:17:55 PM »
I always do it though I've noticed that the youngins don't tend to do it.

On another note, I must be getting old

I feel the need to stick up for the youngin's here! I've found people of all ages don't wave.

I get irrationally angry about people who don't wave, it's infuriating. I wave at them (the wave at should have been the acknowledgement to their wave)

jaxsue

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2011, 11:33:58 PM »
I found that drivers in the south and midwest US wave quite often. Where I live now, near NYC, it seems kind of rare. But then driving here seems like a death wish some days!  :P

gramma dishes

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2011, 11:35:34 PM »
I'm going to stick up for the "young'ns" too.  Although there are rude and inconsiderate drivers in all age categories including theirs, I personally find them to be among the most courteous of all.  If I'm trying to get out of a driveway onto a busy street, about eight times out of ten it's a teenager who will be the one to let me in.

buvezdevin

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2011, 11:51:08 PM »
I wave in acknowledgment/thanks to those drivers who extend me a traffic courtesy, and when I have extended a courtesy beyond simply observing rules of the road (though avoiding the well meant dangerous "courtesies") - while I am unlikely to ever meet the other driver - I "like" those who offer a wave more than those who do not.

My own little bete noir is drivers who will pass the line of cars waiting to proceed beyond a point at which one lane ends, intentionally " cutting" in line, or at least attempting to do so.  We have roads here where two lanes become one, most often where one lane is left to run up to a turning point, be it a street or some development.  This prevents traffic from being regularly slowed on busy paths by multiple cars slowing to turn.  This is not meant to let a few special drivers quickly pass 10 to 20 cars waiting to proceed, and then quickly merge into the one remaining lane rather than turn.
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CakeEater

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Re: Waving "Thank you" while driving
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 06:13:34 AM »
I wave in acknowledgment/thanks to those drivers who extend me a traffic courtesy, and when I have extended a courtesy beyond simply observing rules of the road (though avoiding the well meant dangerous "courtesies") - while I am unlikely to ever meet the other driver - I "like" those who offer a wave more than those who do not.

My own little bete noir is drivers who will pass the line of cars waiting to proceed beyond a point at which one lane ends, intentionally " cutting" in line, or at least attempting to do so.  We have roads here where two lanes become one, most often where one lane is left to run up to a turning point, be it a street or some development.  This prevents traffic from being regularly slowed on busy paths by multiple cars slowing to turn.  This is not meant to let a few special drivers quickly pass 10 to 20 cars waiting to proceed, and then quickly merge into the one remaining lane rather than turn.

This bugs me a lot as well.

Australia here. I wave when someone lets me in.

A 'rule' I had to learn when driving in the UK was that flashing headlights means, 'I'm letting you through'. That caused some confusion for one poor London driver. Sorry London driver!

One I like in Australia is when driving on some of the very long straight roads in the outback, hundreds of kilometres between towns, when you pass another car coming towards you, it's good form to raise your index finger off the steering wheel. I love it - it's such a lazy gesture. About the least effort you could expend to wave, while still acknowledging another's existance.