Carpooling has become a growing trend around the world. According to Industry Research, its global market will reach USD 9.16 billion by 2027. Vehicles in carpooling programs are expected to cross 45 million by 2025. Companies like Shared Rides, Uber, and Waze Carpool are at the forefront of this trend, encouraging passengers to share their rides with others and enjoy its countless benefits.
But ride-sharing is not just limited to these app-based services. Many people resort to their own private shared rides for both office drives and school drops. If you have been considering it as well, this article is for you. We’ll get you up to speed on why you should carpool and essential safety tips everyone needs to know.
If you have been driving on your own all this time, plenty of reasons could sway you into ride-sharing. Here are some of the notable benefits.
- Cost savings
Fuel expenses could be substantial at the end of each month. Carpooling can help drastically reduce this. It is also cheaper than taking a cab or using a ride-sharing app.
- Reduced traffic
Americans spent, on average, 51 hours in traffic in 2022. Traffic, especially during rush hours, is an immense source of stress and wasted time. But when more people opt for shared rides, fewer vehicles will be on the road. This is excellent news for anyone looking to save time and avoid the stress of daily traffic.
- Greater convenience
Unlike public transportation, carpooling will typically get you all the way to the destination. And if you are not the driver, you get the added bonus of relaxing in the passenger seat.
- Nurture relationships
When commuting daily with a group of people, you get to make new friends and strengthen relationships with those you already know.
- Less pollution
Transportation accounts for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions. By filling all five seats in your car, you can potentially reduce up to 20% of pollution. In other words, having fewer vehicles burning fossil fuel is good for the planet and its people. It means more clean air for you to breathe and a healthier climate for future generations.
Safety Tips for Carpooling
The perks of carpooling are undeniable. But to make it a safe experience for everyone involved, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
If you are the driver:
- Ensure your car is serviced and maintained well. Check tire pressure and safety features such as brakes and seat belts to verify they are in working order. In addition, ensure the car is clean and comfortable for the passengers.
- Keep a tool kit in the vehicle for emergencies.
- Avoid distractions such as playing loud music.
- Drive at the recommended speed, follow road rules, and respect other drivers.
- Avoid answering calls while driving. You can always check unsaved numbers on PhoneHistory to identify the caller later on.
- Ensure you know the passengers well before agreeing to share a ride with them.
- If you are tired or sleepy, ask one of the passengers to take over.
- Do not overcrowd the vehicle. Be wary of how many passengers your vehicle can comfortably and safely accommodate.
- Set expectations and communicate them with your fellow passengers before you decide to carpool with them. For example, agree on the pickup times and locations for everyone’s convenience.
If you are the passenger:
- Be mindful not to distract or disturb the driver. All your lives are in the driver’s hands, and it is your responsibility to help them focus on the road.
- Wear your seatbelts. It is the least you can do to ensure your safety.
- Be punctual and arrive at the pickup location at the agreed time. Remember, when you carpool, the slightest delay by one passenger will impact everyone else. More importantly, it could add unnecessary stress for the driver. So, respect the time and schedules of others.
- Be nice to your fellow passengers. You may not know all of them well. So, avoid discussing sensitive topics, such as politics and religion. Respect boundaries and differing opinions and views. It will make for a pleasant and safe journey for everyone. In addition, avoid oversharing personal information until you get to know the others.
If you are a parent sending a child in a shared vehicle:
- Agree to carpool only with parents you already know. This is essential for your child’s safety.
- Get to know the driver well. They should have the maturity to drive safely with a group of children in the back seat: this could be challenging for many people.
- Make sure your child wears a seat belt throughout the journey. Remember, you will not be there to supervise them. So, teaching them basic safety expectations is critical.
- Ensure none of the children occupy the front seat of the vehicle.
- Have a chat with your child about behaving themselves. They should be respectful toward the driver and other kids. Good manners will go a long way, too. Teach them to be nice to other kids. The last thing you want is a fight in the back seat to distract the driver.
- Prepare a list of emergency contacts and share it with the designated driver. Provide a copy to your child as well.
- Avoid overpacking your child’s favorite toys. Remember, the shared vehicle might not be able to accommodate all the gear. Besides, an overcrowded car could distract the driver.
- Respect the driver’s schedule and ensure your child is ready at the agreed time and location.
To Wrap Up
With rising gas prices, high inflation, and climate woes, carpooling is an excellent alternative to your daily drive to the office and school. Besides, it is a great way to make new friends and ease the stress of rush-hour driving. And if you are a passenger, you can sit back, relax, and get dropped off at your destination.
The perks are many, even if you are the designated driver. You get to share the fuel costs and bring down your monthly expenses by a substantial amount. Having company is good for your mental well-being, too.
While you enjoy the many benefits of carpooling, ensuring safety should be a top priority. Whether you are the driver or passenger, be mindful of the precautions listed in this article. Remember, sharing a ride means sharing responsibilities, too—to ensure the safety, security, and peace of mind of everyone in the vehicle.