The courtesy wave is a simple gesture to thank your fellow driver, cyclist or pedestrian for being courteous and considerate on the road. It can be expressed in a number of ways from an effusive hand-wave out the window to a more subtle, subdued head-nod.
The courtesy wave can be used in a variety of situations:
- When merging lanes and your fellow driver creates space for you to merge
- When driving on a narrow street and the oncoming driver pulls over allowing you to pass
- When yielding right of way when the right-of-way is unclear
- When acknowledging a driver of the same vehicle – a particular favourite of motorcyclists and Kombi drivers
- When apologising for a driving indiscretion such as (accidentally) cutting off another driver
While it may seem like an antiquated notion, there is still considerable support for this form of driving etiquette. There are at least 16 Facebook fan pages created by supporters and a Canadian website called MyRoadWaves was set up so recipients of the courtesy wave could enter details of their experience (including locating the incident on Google Maps), and then share that experience with fellow courtesy wave advocates.
The courtesy wave is not a legal requirement but it can substantially raise the tone of driving while at the same time lower the temperature of motorists. A breath of fresh air in a busy and congested city like Sydney.
Is the courtesy wave a lost art or is it alive and well on our roads? http://bit.ly/lNBqEs
— NRMAMotoringServices (@NRMA) May 26, 2011
Is the courtesy wave a lost art or is it alive and well on our roads?
When do you think it’s appropriate to give or receive a courtesy wave?