Every Jeep deserves a wave!
The Jeep wave: Is it real or passé?
Any old codger knows about the Jeep wave. It’s simply an acknowledgement of what the oncoming driver is piloting—in our case, a Jeep. I’m sure some other vehicles have a similar signal; if you were driving a ’57 Chevy Bel Air, you’d sure as heck notice another one coming towards you. For newly minted Jeep owners and drivers, it may be the first time they’ve ever noticed other vehicles similar to theirs, and the next thing you know the hands are flying off the wheel to connect with oncoming Jeep drivers. Ever notice how real bikers also acknowledge each other on the highway? It’s similar to the Jeep wave, but usually low and to the side, almost hidden. And not being a biker, I’d say that it is also done that way so the wind doesn’t whip your hand gesture out and into something you didn’t mean. That could become uncomfortable at times.
The biggest issue nowadays is the fact that many new Jeep owners don’t understand or have a clue. There’s always been a hierarchy to the wave, as the younger vehicle institutes the wave to the older vehicle. It’s just like when an older person comes into a room; the younger people rise and say such terms as sir and ma’am. It’s not rocket science. But likewise, the only way a newbie will ever learn is if they receive a wave from those that have the knowledge they wish to pass on. We are all just Jeep drivers at heart, and we love what we drive and want to bring everyone into the Jeep family. Back in July of ’99 we even published a treatise on the Jeep wave, and we may have to dig it out again just for good measure.
Ah, but what about XJ versus TJ versus whatever? Yes, we all wave—regardless of the Jeep vehicle we drive. I’m so used to waving at any Jeep that I’ll be driving a rental Honda or something and get puzzled when that Wrangler owner won’t wave back, much less even notice the Honda. The truth is that many people aren’t concerned with others on the road, and in our busy highway society it’s sometimes difficult to pay attention while on the phone. Notice how on a lonely two-lane or dirt road that you end up waving to just about every vehicle you come across? A little bit of Jeep kindness and attention can go a long way. It’s an easy way to make someone’s day. You might even save a life. So pay attention, and wave!