A recent study found the average dad waves to approximately 43 neighbors per week. Of those people, he is only able to name 5 percent of those he’s waving to. The study, conducted by the Harvard Institute of People and Places In Everyday Situations, engaged more than 1,000 dads for their groundbreaking research.
“It doesn’t matter who a dad drives past, if he’s in a neighborhood, he just waves, it’s astonishing,” said Dr. Felix Madison, lead researcher of the study. “It could be a serial killer, it could be a series of children stacked on each other’s shoulders wearing a trench coat, it doesn’t matter.”
The study utilized dash cams installed in minivans across the nation. The footage monitored dads from the driveway until they hit a main road, and tracked every single wave, smile, salute, finger gun, and head nod. Those dads were then shown a lineup of the people they waved to. They were able to successfully put a name with a face 5 percent of the time.
“I don’t know if this tells the whole truth,” said study participant and cargo short connoisseur Gabe Daniels. “I call everyone I meet ‘Buddy,’ so technically I got every single name right.”
The 5 percent success rate on an average of 43 neighbors means most dads were only able to name less than three. That means two neighbors and the first initial of a third.
“This is basically the opposite of Cheers,” Dr. Madison said. “The neighborhood is the place where no one knows your name.”