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One tiny Japanese driving habit that could end road rage in America. Why don’t we do this?

Aug 18, 2014 By Abraham

As you’re driving along a busy road, assuming you’re not overly aggressive, there is a lot of give and take with other vehicles. Sometimes you’re letting them in, sometimes they’re letting you in. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a conventional way to signal, “Hey, thanks, friend!” that was a little bit more visible (and common) than a wave?

In Japan there is…

(via Digg)

Now… How do we get this trend started here in the states?


  1. Eric says:

    Truck drivers in America have been doing this for years…it’s nothing new. I actually laughed when I saw the video – THAT was the big “thank you” that can change America?!! HAHA.

    1. Joe Michaels says:

      Eric: You’re absolutely correct. I knew about that because my friend’s dad drove a truck. Another thing truckers (and others who know their etiquette) do: When a truck (or car) passes you in the left lane — and they have enough space in front of you to return to the right lane — flash your brights.

    2. Gill Ashton says:

      I must admit I was wondering what it could be – we do this in the UK all the time. And raise our hand in thanks in the mirror.

      I don’t see how this could prevent road rage btw as it is acknowledging good driving…

  2. Brent says:

    Eric, if that’s true, most of us aren’t aware. Thanks for sharing, Abraham. I didn’t know about this and I agree that it would be awesome if America adopted it.

  3. Beat Attitude says:

    Common practice in the UK. Almost everyone does it. We try to encourage politeness here. If you don’t do it, we ram your car.

  4. paddy says:

    This is also very common in Ireland. However with one addition. If someone flashes hazard lights to say “thank you”, it’s common to flash your headlights very briefly to say “you’re welcome”

  5. Jenna says:

    We do thank yous via “the wave”.
    Personally, if someone doesn’t wave to me, I get a little offended! lol
    Also when people give me the wave, I instinctively give them a wave back to acknowledge their acknowledgement. I’ve seen other people do this, too!

  6. mike rigley says:

    Yep, common on the motorways (freeways) of the UK. Not so much in town driving as hazards also mean ‘I’m about to stop and pretend to break down while my mate gets out’.

    The wave works too but obviously trucks and cars with dark back windows can’t do that too well :)

  7. Neal says:

    Yeah, I’ve seen truck drivers do this in the US. I’ve actually done it before in my car but I don’t know if the person knew what it meant.

  8. Mark Matson says:

    This used to be standard practice in Texas, particularly on two-lane country roads in areas where passing can be challenging. A slower car pulls to the shoulder to let another car get by — the passing car gives a blink or two of the hazards after they are past as a thank you. I don’t see it as much as I used to, but it’s still not uncommon.

  9. Becki says:

    I agree with Troy, the caption person (or program?) is mystified by the speaker’s accent (guessing Aussie or South Afr.), and get laughable results.

    1. kevin says:

      You’re half right – it is an Australian accent. And yes, we’ve been doing this in South Africa for many years as well. Has done nothing to alleviate road rage, though!

  10. Paula says:

    Well, that headline was stupid. How do you end road rage just by coming up with a “thank you” signal? Seriously?! Person A lets person B in, then gets outraged because there was no thank you, and goes after person B and rams him/her off the road? And guess what, big truckers do this all the time.

  11. Scott Giese says:

    Whatever “speech to text” or “translator) program was used on this one was just plain “TERRIBLE”. Totally inappropriate words were inserted at times.

  12. ZK says:

    We have a ton of road rage in Hungary, but saying thanks with the lights is standard. Also, if you are driving behind a slow car or truck, they will signal to the left when it’s safe for you to pass (so you don’t have to constantly peek out from behind).

  13. Victoria says:

    We have this in the US but I only see it on rural sections of the interstate roads. I try to practice this or a little wave where I live (in a large city) but I think I confuse everyone here when I don’t flip people off or slam on the brakes.

  14. Brian says:

    Yes, both to be polite and to communicate that the intention was understood and about to be followed. BTW it reminded me of when I was stationed in Korea. There at night no one used their headlights, except for usually flicking them on just before an intersection. On mostly rural Korea roads, if no one is using headlights your night vision works quite well enough, and using them unnecessarily would actually make every other driver not see as well. And in towns, there’s enough streetlights and business signs, that once again headlights are not only not necessary, it just adds to glare.

  15. Alex Philip says:

    We do this in Canada too. Then we pull over at the local Tim Horton’s buy the driver a cup of coffee and a donut and give them a hug. ;)

  16. Paul Hopper says:

    When I was in Kunsan Korea everybody (cars/people) took the right of way. Horns everywhere. Our 10 wheeler w/air horn got clear road. Our tiny military Mazda got stalled in a throng of pedestrians.

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