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I was wondering about something that -I think- is specific to France : That when you drive on gravel, you should put your hand against the windshield, to absorb vibration that could damage it.

  1. have you heard this claim before ?
  2. do you know any myths from France ?
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I have not heard this claim before, but then I have not had many occasions to drive on gravel roads.

As for asking about myths or claims that are specific to France, I would recommend against phrasing it that way. It would be in danger of getting closed for being too localized. I am sure there are many quaint claims that may be restricted to one specific locale, but unless it has some notoriety (like Lourdes), it may not get any answers, or actually be closed.

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    I think a nation-wide claim is notable enough to be acceptable. Anecdotaly, I have made one such local question before and nobody objected. – Suma Sep 2 '12 at 9:10
  • @Suma: I concur. Notability is most certainly achieved if a claim is popular within a country. In some cases, a large city would be large enough. A localized claim would be closer to "among your friends" or a similarly small group of people. – Borror0 Sep 3 '12 at 3:12
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I have heard a similar claim about Africa dirt roads, in that case it was that the drivers there hold their hands against the glass when meeting another vehicle. The supposed reason was not to absorb vibrations, but to make windshield glass to break in a controlled manner if a stone from the opposing vehicle should hit. The resulting glass break was supposed to be only a small one, which should be a result of a localized pressure of the hand.

This Beaver County Times article from May 18 2003 says the practice is not useful, but should document the notability of the mentioned claim.

Seems to be also busted by MythBusters.

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