Smokers’ car windows and drive-up windows

Today, I’d like to devote Road Warrior to sounding out the readership on a couple of curiosities: Why smokers roll their window down halfway and why some many people use drive-up windows.
Plus a suggestion for not getting stuck waiting for the left turn light on Silverdale Way to go east on Ridgetop Boulevard.

Today, I’d like to devote Road Warrior to sounding out the readership on a couple of curiosities, one of them my own.
But first, Joan Boeckl makes an observation that would have been good had I included it in Friday’s column about all the extra traffic at Silverdale Way and Ridgetop Boulevard since Myhre Road was closed. Actually, Larry Hugel of the county’s signal shop said something similar when I was researching the column but I neglected to mention it.
The observation: If drivers coming from the north on Silverdale Way wanting to reach the area of Costco would turn left at Waaga Way and take it up to the Ridgetop interchange and approach from that direction, or if they’d go past Ridgetop on Silverdale Way to Bucklin Hill Road, turn left and then double back via Mickelberry, they’d take a lot of pressure off the left turn from Silverdale Way to eastbound Ridgetop and may even save time.
Now then, the curiosities, the first from retiring state Sen. Bob Oke of Port Orchard, who even as you read this is recuperating from another stem cell transplant to battle his blood cancer.
He wondered a week ago why so many smokers drive with the driver-side window rolled half-way down. Are they trying to preserve the value of their vehicle by minimizing the odor of smoke, he asked. Are they being considerate of someone in the vehicle. Are they (heaven forbid) flicking the ashes out the window?
E-mail me your thoughts about that, and about this:
I am mystified by the popularity of drive-up windows. You get trapped in line, are at the mercy of the complexity of the business those ahead of you must transact, you burn up gas and pollute the air. I can usually be in and out of the business on foot, be it a bank or fast food joint, well before I’d ever reach the window in the drive-up lane.
There just doesn’t seem to be any upside to a drive-up lane, unless you have kids in the car. I see so many with just the driver, sitting in the drive-up lane, I wonder what attraction I’m overlooking.

12 thoughts on “Smokers’ car windows and drive-up windows

  1. I am a former smoker. When my children were young, and I was still smoking, I told myself that they were not getting any damage from it if I left my window opened a little.

    As the children grew older, they requested more window opening! Just before I quit, I reached the point where I did not smoke in the car when the children were with me. I don’t know what modern parents do.

    On the drive-up window thing I can only say that my mother is mobility impaired and we drive up to her bank window to do her transactions. It is way faster and much easier for her that way. Otherwise, I park and walk into most businesses.

  2. You will quickly find the “upside” to drive-up windows if you ever
    have a physical handicap as they keep you from having to struggle to
    get out of the car and into the bank or whatever. Since we are
    retired and can pick our time for errands, we do them at non-busy
    times to avoid having to wait in long lines which would waste gas.
    Also, many years ago the bank in Hadlock (formerly SeaFirst) taught
    us to turn off the engine when at the drive-up window to avoid
    asphyxiating the Tellers and we still do that automatically.

  3. I have never met a smoker who has not had their car window rolled down
    while smoking, and there are good reasons for that. Number one, yes,
    it definitely reduces the smell of smoke inside the car, especially
    when you have multiple windows down. Also, it gives the smoke a place
    to go instead of being trapped in such a small space – and do you
    really want smokers to have decreased visibility? Not only does a car
    full of trapped smoke make it hard to see, it makes it more likely
    that you’ll get smoke in your eyes, which will cause them to be
    irritated and water.

    Finally, as for flicking ashes out the window, it’s easier (you don’t
    have to look) than using an in-car ashtray, and also can decrease the
    smell of cigarette smoke in your car. This is especially effective if,
    instead of using an ashtray, you keep a plastic bottle with some
    liquid in it to put your cigarette butts in. Some people opt not to
    ash out the window, such as my roommate, who is very determined to
    maintain the appearance of his car at all times – including not having
    ashes on the exterior of it. Thus, he rarely smokes in his car.

    I know you were probably asking sarcastically or were expecting to get
    a bunch of, “Yeah, I know!” non-smoker support, but I figured I’d go
    against the grain and give you a serious answer.

  4. I keep the sunroof partially open to vent the majority of the smoke. I’m
    the only one that rides in my car so I really don’t care what it smells
    like, I just don’t like looking through a fog bank 🙂

  5. They have their windows down to throw out their ashes and cig. when they are
    through. I witnessed this three times in Sept, was able to get license plate
    number and information needed to call it in to litter two times but not the
    other. I was not on the highways every day either just to doctors or

  6. I have a theory that ties in with Bob Oke’s musings about drivers
    that smoke. The popularity of drive-ups is that smokers, due to a
    recent law prohibiting smoking in any business premises, don’t have
    to put out their cigarette. The smoke that they lit up to relieve the
    stress/boredom of driving to do their business (be it eating,
    banking, etc) doesn’t have to be doused in order to carry out that
    drive-up transaction.

    NO – wait a minute! How far – by law – does a smoker have to be from
    a place of business in order to light up? Isn’t it something like 25
    feet? In my calculations, that would render all drive-ups completely

    Yours in perplexity,

  7. You’ll get a lot of reasons to use the drive throughs, some good such as little kids and handicapping conditions, but the truth is that most drivers are just too freaking lazy to get out and walk in.

    There are usually no lines inside most of these places. I’m in and out in 5-minutes while only 1 or 2 cars move past the window. Let’s not start a campaign to discourage driving through. That’ll cause longer lines inside.

    If we have another gas crisis like ’79, the first thing to shut down should be drive throughs.

    What I want to know is what is so exceptional with the coffee kiosk on Kitsap Way just east of the Taco Bell. I’ve seen nine cars lined up there at 10 AM. The last three were waiting in the road.

  8. I have wondered also, why smokers drive with the window rolled half-way down. I came to the conclusion that they are considerate of their passengers or that they hope to help themselves,by a little fresh air. The smokers that really get me wondering what they can be thinking, are those who drive with their windows all the way down and when they slow or stop, out comes the arm hanging way down, flipping ashes and probably discarding cigarette butts. I have seen this many times. I am sure they don’t want to smell up the car with the smell of old cigarette butts in the ash tray. I think it’s time to impose another tax on tobacco to cover the cost of fire damage along our hiways.

  9. The reason smokers (I was a smoker for years) drive with their windows half down is that they can’t stand a car/room full of cigarette smoke. It is fine in the lungs but not in the eyes and etc.

    The reason people like drive-throughs is that (1) sometimes they aren’t dressed for public viewing. (2) They haven’t combed their hair, brushed their teeth or are just too tired to get out of the car. (3) Maybe a hangover with red eyes and they smell like a dirty bar. The list goes on and on…..just one old lady’s idea…..O.K?

  10. Dear Travis,

    I used to feel the way you do about drive-up windows; gas wasters,
    polluters, and time wasters, until I visited my daughter in Fresno, CA who
    has three small, pre-school children. You have not experienced
    inconvenience until you try to run errands with even one child in tow.
    Each stop entails parking, unbuckling the child from the safety car seat,
    finding the shoes he or she has removed, then manuvering him, her, or them
    through the crowded, dangerous parking lot into the establishment where you
    need to transact your business. And if you have more than one child with
    you, you must also watch them while dealing with the bank clerk, or
    pharmacists, or whatever you have gone into that particular place to do.
    Let’s not even go into the return to the car. Whew! One or two of those
    experences, and you realize just how wonderful a drive-up window is, be it
    for picking up a presciption, buying lunch, dropping off dry cleaning, doing
    bank business, or many other things that can be done at drive-up windows.

    Drive-ups are also helpful for people with mobility problems. Much easier
    to go to the pharmacy window to pick up a called-in medication than try to
    manuver that game leg out of the car and limp into the store while leaning
    on a cane.

    Drive-up bank windows are also safer. Someone who has just visited an ATM
    is fair game for a purse-snatcher or a mugger, But in your car, doors
    locked, all windows but one rolled up, and engine running, you can usually
    get away from harm much more quickly.

    And lastly, in case you have forgotten about our delightfull winter weather
    in the Pacific Northwest, I would much rather go to a drive-up coffee window
    and get my favorite latte, than park and slog through the sleet for it.

  11. I wonder if it is the Fat Person sitting in the car at the drive-in window?
    The Slim Jim and Slim Jane of the world must be the folks who park and walk into the establishment…I am guessing because I do not believe a Fat Person becomes a Fatty by overexercise.
    (I can speak of Fatties because I became one when I stopped a 40 year smoking habit)

  12. I also think that way. Why smokers roll their window down halfway and why some many people use drive-up windows. Thanks for answering my questions. I know that this will help specially to all drivers.

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