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Safe Driving:  How to Give The Little Wave When Driving

Safe Driving: How to Give The Little Wave When Driving

With road rage and aggressive driving upon us almost daily, there is a small gesture you can do to hopefully add a calming element to driving in the growing phenomenon of sometimes frustrating, congested traffic. The gesture takes no more than a second to execute, but can have far reaching positive results.

Safe driving and the little car wave

We all know about the importance of safe driving which includes driving when alert, never drinking or texting when driving, and following all traffic laws.  However, did you know that there is a small gesture that, even though not a traffic law, per se, could be a safe driving etiquette worthy of a law.  In fact, this small gesture is in many driving courses that teaches safe driving.

What is this gesture you may ask.  Of course it’s the little wave that you should give when another driver acknowledges you and gives you the right of way to proceed in a driving area before he  or she does.

The little car wave using your fingers.

The little car wave can be given in many ways.  You may choose to raise your whole hand slightly above the steering wheel to let the other driver know he or she can proceed, or use your fingers.  However, the most common way is just raise your hand slightly as if you are waving to someone.

In some instances, the other driver may already have the right away, but gives you the little wave letting you know you can proceed instead. This is the ultimate form of polite, courteous driving.

When someone lets you go ahead of them, you may be tempted to blow them a kiss.  But there is no need.  Keep both hands on the steering wheel, and safely proceed.

Instead of giving the car wave, some people will extend their arm out from the car window and motion for the other person to proceed.  This type gesture is not recommended.  It is always safer to keep your arms inside of your car instead of extending your arm outside the window, if possible.  However, it this gesture can be done safely, then feel free to do so.

Your objective is to let the other driver know that their car can proceed ahead of you. If he or she sees your hand in a raised position, they will know to proceed. 


Keep both hands on the wheel  after being given the right away.  You may want to wave back at the person who gave you the right away, which is fine, but ensure you do so safely.

Giving anothe driver the little car wave will bring a smile to the other driver’s face.

A note of caution:  Always look around, look to the right, look to the left and back to the left again before proceeding to be sure that no other cars are present, and that it is safe to proceed — even after the other driver has given you the little car wave that it is ok for you to drive forward.

Remember driving is a privilege, not a right.  Giving the little car wave while driving is a way to show your courtesy as well.  

Drive safely!




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