Carpooling is an easy method of reducing your gas budget, lowering fuel dependency, and decreasing the amount of miles your vehicle accrues. Whether your commute is a few miles or a few hours, collaborating with other drivers to create a carpool can be extremely beneficial. Combining resources so that everyone comes out on top is what carpooling is all about. Use these five tips to make your carpool more efficient and convenient for everyone involved:
Get organized. Creating a carpooling system requires a little more effort than texting a meeting location to a dozen possible participants at 6:00 a.m. every morning.
There are several crucial pieces of information that you need to gather before anyone takes their turn at the wheel:
Jot down a few basic policies. How late can someone be before the carpool leaves without them? If a member’s illness or vacation disrupts the carpool rotation, how will it be re-established? If someone has an emergency and must unexpectedly take a day off from work, who will he or she notify so that the carpool doesn’t stall? Smoking or no smoking in the vehicle? Are stops at convenience stores, the grocery store, or the pharmacy on the way home from work or school in the evenings allowed? What about cell phone conversations? Make sure all members are aware of these guidelines.
Be courteous to your fellow carpoolers. People can be cranky in the early mornings and tired in the afternoons after a long day at word. Keep conversations to a minimum unless you are certain that the other riders are in the mood to chat. Don’t listen to the radio, at least not loudly. Refrain loud or heated phone conversations while in the vehicle with your fellow carpoolers. Remember that even if the other members of the carpool aren’t necessarily your favorite people, the convenience and savings of carpooling far outweighs any minor annoyances.
When it’s your turn to take the wheel, remember that the other carpoolers trust you to safely transport them to and from work. Drive carefully and obey the speed limit, even it you’re running late. Carpool passengers can quickly become a distraction and prevent you from focusing on the task of driving. Pair that with rush hour traffic and morning grogginess and you’ve got a recipe for a wreck. Don’t hesitate to ask your fellow carpoolers to help you watch out for traffic or to lower their voices to help your concentration. You’re all in this together.
Get your junk out of your car when it’s your turn to drive. No one wants to dig through your old fast food wrappers to find the seat belt or have your gym bag occupy their foot room. The evening before your turn in the driving rotation, clean out any trash, move your belongings to the trunk, and pop in an air freshener for good measure. All members of the carpool will thank you.
Remember that carpools are not just for drivers who commute to work. Want to save a little gas money so you can cruise around on the weekend? Coordinate a carpool to school with two or three classmates who live in your neighborhood. As long as you can trust these other drivers to get you to class on time, a carpool to and from school is a great way to reduce your fuel consumption and save a little cash!