The weather’s not bad right now, as we wait expectantly for the next Midwestern exposure to the dreaded Polar Vortex. That means it’s the season of the hand-out-the-window drivers — that small fraction of motorists who like tooling down the road with their forearms and hands flapping in the breeze.
Of course, the HOTW drivers flout standard driving conventions. Obviously, they aren’t keeping both hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock, as we were taught to do by our hectoring drivers’ ed instructors. And there has been no need for a driver’s hand to be out of the car since the hand-signaling Model T era, before automakers made the turn signal standard equipment. In fact, air conditioning means there’s no need for the window to be open at all.
Yet still the HOTW drivers persist. Some use the elbow on the door frame, hand clutching the edge of the roof approach, others extend the arm outward and hold the side-view mirror, and still others just let their hands wander free in the air stream, like a happy, tongue-lolling dog with its head outside the car. But, why? Why expose the arm to the outer elements? Why have the forearm skin battered by the random insects that meet their fates mashed against a car windshield? Why not experience the pristine wonder of the completely enclosed, carefully climate-controlled, fully interior driving experience?
I’m guessing the HOTWers have a bit of rebel in them.