If I can see the driver I wave (unless they are looking down at their phone... won't see me anyway). Just this afternoon a nice lifted gray JKU was making a left in front of me (a bit down the road). Apparently he noticed me and actually took the effort to turn back around (like making a u-turn off a side street) to wave. Then (much to my surprise) backed around and continued down the side road he turned onto. There was otherwise no traffic so it was a safe but unusual maneuver. Same drive I got a sideways wave when another Wrangler went across at an intersection. *** sigh *** it was a good Jeep wave day!
The only time I DON'T wave is when I sitting at a light and a Jeep is sitting at the light across the way. It's just awkward and turns into a waving contest. However, when we start moving again, wave on.
I will wave to built FSJs, XJs or even some Grands if they're lifted and look like they actually wheel, otherwise it's Wranglers only. Wife asked and I told her "anything where the top comes off."
As far as distance, we have one short stretch of highway here with three lanes each direction and a treed center median, that's pretty much a no wave zone, although I find some in the inside lane do anyway. It's a pretty high percentage around here, even though there are a lot of Wranglers around.
I wave any chance I get.
I might miss some on occasion as I am trying to maneuver through traffic chaos, but to me the Jeep wave is about being chill, no pressure, just a friendly hello. I'll even sometimes wave at the rest of the family, however, they most likely won't as they just don't get it. But if a Renegade, Compass, Liberty, etc....waves first, you better believe I am waving back. I hope once I see Gladiators with the Rubicon sticker on the road they will wave too
That said, I think this definition of the Jeep Wave sums it up nicely:
Jeep Wave - A form of unspoken communication amongst jeep wrangler owners, acknowledging each others shared badassery for owning the ultimate driving experience.