Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sign Language

The other night Eric and I were discussing something of actual importance -- the need for certain agreed-upon hand gestures to be made to other drivers.

Yes, everyone knows the signal for "I am very unhappy with that thing you just did" even if the gesture is slightly different in different countries. That's a no-brainer.

However, what we decided that are really lacking are the following:

1) "Wow, I almost ran you off the road -- it was completely my fault and I'm really sorry!" This is the one that started off the conversation. Everyone be honest now, we've all had at least one occasion when this would have been appropriate. (And if you really think you've never done something like that... you have, you just weren't paying attention.)

The proposed gesture is an open-handed weak wave, but you really have to be careful that all your fingers can be seen. The alternate proposed gesture is to slink down in the seat and accelerate as quickly as possible.

2) "One of your headlights is out." Eric claims that this one has a definition, which is to get behind the person and flash your high beams. However, in my driving experience, that would be mistaken for "Get out of the fast lane, idiot" unless you're sitting at a traffic light at the time.

3) "Your turn signal has been on for the last three miles." It's not always old people. Just almost always.

4) "Your wheel just fell off!" Eric claims he was able to successfully convey this to the passenger in a truck pulling a horse trailer via sweeping hand movements coupled with pointing to the trailer and showing a very concerned look.

5) "Your truck is on fire!" I tried with this one, I really did, but when I pulled up next to the cab to signal that the coupling between the two trailers was in flames, I would have needed to make a hole in my roof in order to see the other driver because his cab was so high. Honking and flashing my lights didn't accomplish anything. And then I gave up because, you know, my exit was right there.

This is really the sort of thing that should be covered in the DMV booklet.

Anyone have any additions or proposals?


jeff said...

How about "you're coat is stuck in the door"? Maybe some flapping motion with an open hand?

Or, "the bridge is out ahead and you're going to die"? I think a hand surfing the air out the window...

Sorta related:

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

I think the appropriate gesture for the latter is to brake and let the other idiot drive off into open air alone.