Why do cars not have positive signals for others on the road?
The only 2 signals you can make to another person are either flashing lights or a honk. While the former is typically viewed as a warning, the latter is firmly about relaying the “you screwed up” message.
My hypothesis is that there is both a market and a need for 2 positive signals – a sorry signal and a thank you signal. Here are 3 reasons why –
1. The sorry signal is particularly useful for when you make mistakes. Now, the person who honks behind you knows it was done unintentionally.
2. There are so many nice gestures on the road – a driver making space for you in the lane so you can cut, another who allows a mistake without honking and yet another who waits patiently while you offload a passenger on a busy road. There ought to be a way to celebrate this.
3. The road can be a negative, stress inducing place. This stress has knock on effects in other parts of our lives. A bit of positive affirmation could go a long way. Instead of screaming about that idiot who cut you off abruptly when you are home, you can now reflect on that wonderful sorry and thank you gesture after he/she made a mistake.
How would you execute? There are 2 ways – the outward signals could either be extra lights in different places or it could be a small screen where either message flashes when a button is pressed on the steering wheel.
Here’s hoping that happens…
(Thanks to the source for the image)
7 thoughts on “Positive signals on cars”
Yes this is so needed. I think I will try to connect a blinking neon thank you sign to the back of my prius.
If you are very talented, it is possible to pull off a “thank you” honk. It’s two little chirps a half second apart. Unfortunately, most people who attempt this end up conveying the opposite message, but it is an option.
I didn’t even know that was a thank you Luke. So, I’d probably interpret it the opposite.. haha.
Agree. It would definitely help ease a lot of tension on the roads.
A reader just emailed about http://www.thankyouandsorry.com/
I’ve just purchased and look forward to testing them out
Ah. But how do you see it if you are behind the car?
Hazard lights are used in Portugal to say Thank you too. Easy to see from the back too Or in your review mirror. China seems to have this smooth, extremely busy flow that works and you see very little aggression and no honking. Vietnam is the same, although it’s mostly bikes so you get to see facial expressions. Such an interesting topic, we need it badly in South Africa!
Would be super to have something universal!
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