Driving in Japan: A Unique Point of Etiquette


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As a Texan, it pains me to say this, but the most polite drivers that I've encountered were in Ohio. I lived there for a few years and found that it was common for people to give a thank you wave when you let them in. It's more rare here down south.

The Japan Channel, a YouTube channel about life in Japan, reports that Japanese drivers do something similar. If you let one in, s/he will signal thanks. But Japanese drivers do this by briefly flashing their hazard lights.

That's a pretty good idea, especially since it could be seen at night. What do you think? Should drivers in other countries adopt this practice?

-via 22 Words


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John must not live in the same Texas in which I live. It's common etiquette:
1) You're on a 2-lane road and see a car coming up behind you. But it's not safe for him to pass you;
2) You move over to the right and drive on the shoulder;
3) Now that you've made room, the faster car can dive on;
4) You pull back onto the road behind the faster car. He thanks you by blinking his hazard lights.
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What are you talking about? I lived in Texas almost all my life and MOST people say thank you with hazards and let you know when your lights are off or if there is a cop nearby with a flash of their high beams.
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In California we have essentially the same thing. When another driver let's you in, or passes, or just drives we:

- Flip them off
- Try to intimidate them with a sudden swerve towards them
- Throw a Starbucks Insulated Travel Mug
- All while laying on the horn.
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I live in Pittsburgh as well. I remember some years ago, there was a story going around that street gangs were flashing their lights, and if someone responded, they would go after the inhabitants of that car. Turned out to be an urban myth.

The police have said that if flashed lights are used to warn oncoming drivers of speed traps, the driver doing that is breaking the law. No idea how that works.
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