Doing the Wave
I have a friend that recently got a new Jeep Rubicon, and after a week or so of driving around, she burst into the restaurant where we were meeting for drinks and said, very excitedly, ‘ you’re not going to believe this, but when I’m driving in my Jeep, people in other Jeeps keep waving at me. It’s like we have a secret club or something!’
Not everyone knows I guess, that when you purchase a Jeep, there’s an agreement you make, a ‘silent pact’ that is entered, with all other Jeep owners out on the road. It’s known as ‘the Jeep Wave.’
Apparently, there’s a whole “Jeep hierarchy” where the waving is based on things like:
- the model year of your Jeep
- whether your Jeep is a daily driver or an offroad monster
- other classic Jeep or nostalgic factors
For our purpose, and the purpose of most Jeep owners these days, there are some general guidelines that are followed:
1. All Jeepers are responsible for upholding the tradition of the Wave. Upon contact with another Jeep, a Jeeper is required to initiate the Wave, and continue the Wave until:
- The Wave is returned
- The Wave is blatantly disregarded
2. All Jeepers are encouraged, but not required, to return the Wave, and take any opportunity presented to guide and mentor new Jeep owners about their responsibilities to their Jeeps in the hopes that they can correct the error of their ways.
3. Possible wave variations consist of:
- Top off: One handed wave above windshield or outside body tub
- Top off during blizzard: Shiver and nod, hands may remain frozen to steering wheel
- Southern/rural locations: Raise fingers from steering wheel, nod
4. When unsure of status or wave requirements of a particular encounter quickly enough to ensure that the proper Jeep Wave Etiquette rules are followed, immediately initiate wave.
While I tend to wave to all Jeep Wrangler owners indiscriminately, I notice, from time to time that my wave is answered with a blank stare. It seems, as in the case with my friend, to take new owners a few weeks to realize just what is going on and what it means to be a loyal Jeep owner. They haven’t realized yet that when you own a Jeep Wrangler, every other Jeep Wrangler owner in the world is your friend. Either that, or they simply have no interest in being part of the worldwide fraternity of Jeepers…..in which case, they should just be driving a punch buggy instead, but I don’t know….that just sounds painful to me.