Sunday, July 1, 2007

Interesting Social Experiment #47 - The Car-Wave

So, yesterday I was coming home from watching Live Free or Die Hard. To get home, I have to drive for about 20 minutes on country highway, which isn't too bad. However, it was very hot in my car (I don't have air conditioning at the moment) so I had the windows open which, as everyone should know, creates a considerable amount of drag and wind resistance and which, as everyone should also know, means your car uses more gas. I'm cheap and gas isn't, so I decided to drive slowly, at about 90 kph instead of my usual 110ish. I was polite, though: as soon as someone came up behind me I kindly slid over to the shoulder to let them roar on past.

What made me smirk, though, is how impolite everyone on the road is these days. It used to be that if you pulled over for someone driving faster than you, that person would give you the car-wave. You know, the car-wave: that little raise-your-hand-and-maybe-shake-it-so-that-the- person-behind-you-sees-it-through-the-rear-windshield gesture. It's a sign of appreciation: you moved over so that I could drive by; thank you. hardly anyone does this anymore, though. I counted. Of the sixteen drivers that passed me, only one gave me the car-wave. One in sixteen! Come on, we can do better than that. Are we so narcissistic that we think we are entitled to have slower drivers pull over for us? Can't we return a polite gesture with a polite gesture of our own? So next time a slower driver lets you pass him, return the favour. Give him the car-wave. It's polite and friendly and gives you a sense that maybe, just maybe, most people aren't the jerks you thought they were.

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