While there may well be no shortage of rude drivers out there, there are still some folks who display at least a modicum of civilization. I like to think I am one of those who treat others as I would like to be treated. Isn’t that a golden idea?
When I am walking along the sidewalk I tend to give cars entering or leaving parking lots or garages the go ahead. Technically I have the right of way, being a pedestrian on the sidewalk. But I am also a driver at times, and I know how difficult it can be to merge into traffic. So what the hell, if there is a gap, go ahead and slip in there.
Mind you it isn’t all altruism, I feel better letting the car go first. That way I am in control of the situation and my own safety. The key for me is how I indicate to the driver that he or she may go. I do not use the sideways wave, as if I were directing a cement truck. No, I prefer the gentle, Alphonse and Gaston “after you” approach. Open hand with palm upwards, “go right ahead”. The vast majority of drivers will respond with a wave. So very civilized.
I use the same motion when behind the wheel. Encountering another car in a less than clear who has the right of way situation, I usually gesture, open palm again, “you first” which results in a friendly wave back. Warm and fuzzy!
What bothers me as both pedestrian and driver are those people who flick their fingers at you sideways in a “hurry up fool” approach. Much like a cop shooing people away from some incident, “move along, nothing to see here”. As if the nanosecond delay is going to upset their entire, no doubt highly important, schedule. “C’mon c’mon…move it” is the message this little gesture sends.
However, expecting civilized behaviour on roads that are potholed, over crowded and often closed for construction may just be asking too much.