The Courtesy Wave… hello?!

You're welcome.

On my way into work the other day I saw a car in the next lane over with its blinker going off, a clear desperate plea to be allowed over into the turning lane. I slowed down enough to allow my fellow motorist to pass over into my lane. Then I looked at driver and waited for it. Waited for what I call the “courtesy wave” and it never came.

The courtesy wave is a simple gesture to thank the other driver for allowing you to pass into their lane, or pull out into traffic. It’s simple enough to do – you don’t even have to wave, just raise your hand into the air for 1-2 seconds. It’s an easy way to say, “Hey, thanks buddy!” So why do so many drivers forgo the courtesy wave? Are they texting with their right hand? I hope not, there’s few things worse than a person who doesn’t get a courtesy wave AND texts while driving.

Once instead of getting the courtesy wave, the driver in the other car threw me a peace sign. How cool is that? I had to do a double check and make sure it wasn’t Fonzie behind the wheel. After that I made a mental note to try and replace my wave with a peace sign, but the one time I did it I felt like complete dork. So maybe we’re not all cool enough to pull off the courtesy peace sign, but there’s no reason we can’t all adopt the courtesy wave.



Filed under Shannon

12 responses to “The Courtesy Wave… hello?!

  1. Hahaha, I’m gonna try the courtesy peace sign!

    This post is awesome!

  2. Emily

    The other day in a crowded mall parking lot, a lady waved and pointed to her car so I could get her spot. Not only did I wave as she drove past me, I emphatically mouthed “thank you!”. C’mon, people, WAVE! When you show gratitude, it encourages the behavior. It’s called positive reinforcement. DO IT!

    • “When you show gratitude, it encourages the behavior. It’s called positive reinforcement.”

      Well said!

      I like to flash the lights while walking to my car to signal other drivers that a spot is about to free up.

  3. KJayDub

    I got one for you. I was driving back home from across town on a route I don’t normally take at night. I’ve driven up to this light several times but with the snow and the darkness, it was hard to navigate into the appropriate lane and somehow I ended up in the turning lane. So did the lady in front of me and the man behind me. I watched the lady in front of me roll down her window and ask if she could get in. I was too embarrassed. I couldn’t admit that I came up to this light and got in the wrong lane. I didn’t even turn on my right signal until 10 seconds before the turning signal blinked to green. So I sat and waited for the full green light then crept up a little and was able to move over. I was so elated that the man next to me allowed me in without a fight. It was so easy. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. I screamed ‘thank you’ a few times and waved my right hand frantically as if it were on fire.

    I was ecstatic that I was let in so easily cause it could have been more stressful… Even though I may have looked a tad spastic, I had no problem delivering several courtesy waves.

  4. Phat Ninja

    When i lived in georgia you courtesy waived everything, parking, driving, sale in a store, cut off ya lawn mower it’s too damn early. when i moved back to NY all my friends thought something was wrong with me for being super polite. After about a year of peer pressure i’m back to being a full blown NY asshole. (GET OUT OF THE CROSS-WALK GRANDMA I GOTTA GET SOMEWHERE LOL)

  5. @ Phat Ninja…You’re right. When I lived in the south, people not only gave me a courtesy wave for everything, but they’d even stop me in the grocery store to ask how my family were doing and wish them well. This was very frightening to me because not only did I not see this done in NY, but I had no idea who the person was and why they were so friendly. And yes we New Yorkers tend to be impatient, but the wave would only take 1 second to do. And it may make the person’s day.

  6. The Peace sign is a lot better than the birds I often flip at drivers from Idaho. Trust me on this.

  7. @Pete…We hate birds. When we see them we throw rocks if we aren’t able to shoot them. Hence, I wouldn’t give the bird.

  8. Roxy

    What about the courtesy head nod? Is there such a thing? More often then not I flick my chin forward which to me emphasizes “good looking out” Is that too hood for the masses to understand? Would you suspect others have thought me rude for my nod, even though to me it was a form of grattitude? I grew up in the projects, man, the nod goes a long way there.

  9. @Roxy…If you nodded with a smile it would be acceptable. You still acknowledged the driver’s kindness. The smile is important because if it isn’t there, it may seem…intimidating, threatening maybe. I may think “hey is she telling me that if I didn’t let her pass, it’d be my a$#?” So rememeber to smile. It’s necessary… especially if you’re in suburbia.

  10. We love the courtesy wave (CW). Getting that wave for just doing a little something nice on the road can really make your day and bring a smile to your face. Not getting one can make you think other things! We created for people to connect and keep track of those special waves they get. Please check it out and help spread the wave.

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