Source: David Emrich, Unsplash
What is Carpooling? Carpooling is a convenient way to reduce your commute costs. All you need is one, two or 3 people since you get to share the costs of driving a car with other riders. It could be a coworker, neighbor or even a student. When you carpool your commute costs will drop by 50% or even more.
Cars, SUVs and vans emit lots of carbon except cars that run on electricity of course and a great way to reduce the greenhouse gas your vehicle releases is by sharing your car or sharing the driving.
Due to the Covid19 pandemic, its best you stay home but after the pandemic, if carpooling is the only option you think you have, given where you live then you can consider it. Now, during the pandemic if you find yourself carpooling take these safety rules seriously.
In this post, we will look at the benefits of Carpooling and tips for a successful carpool experience.
Interesting Carpool Statistics
Source: Yena Kwon, Unsplash
Did You Know? 20.4% of Americans commuted to work by carpool during a gas crisis in the 1970s; now only 9% commute to work by carpooling.
Transportation is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and this sector also generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions at 29%. The emissions from transportation is as a result of burning fossil fuel for planes, cars, trucks, ships and trains.
Sources that account for more than half of emissions from the transportation sector are cars, minivans, pickup trucks, light duty trucks and medium/ heavy-duty trucks.
An easy way to cut down on transportation emissions is to drive less and consider eco friendly options like carpooling, or riding your bike or simply just walking.
Benefits of Carpooling
1. Carpooling reduces traffic congestion
Carpooling reduces greenhouse emissions and traffic congestion. When you share a car with one person to and from work you reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.72kilograms and if you share a car throughout the year, this will have a higher impact because this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 893 kilograms.
Looking at the carpooling definition I have stated above, it is obvious that carpooling eases traffic congestion and reduces greenhouse emissions. On average, sharing a ride with one other person to work and back will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.72 kilograms (Source: Transport Canada).
If you were to share a ride all year long, together you would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 893 kilograms. With (hopefully!) good conversation to boot.
2. Save Money
Yes! You will definitely save money when you carpool because carpool lets you share gas and parking costs thereby reducing your expenses by half or even more.
This is because you are able to save even more if the number of occupants go up. Carpool also means there will be fewer cards on the road which means costs for constructing and maintaining our roads will be reduced.
3. Great for people who live where transit system is not in place
Carpooling is great especially if you live in an area with no little or no buses or trains.
4. Great for our Health
Carpooling is less stressful than commuting all alone. There are lesser cars on the road when we carpool which means less air pollution and better health for us. Diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and neurological ones are all linked to air pollution from our vehicles.
Carpooling minimizes these health risks. You and I can minimize this risk by carpooling. When you are not driving you can sit back, relax and read a book or simply enjoy some music.
Carpooling is convenient because you can simply follow rules that work for you and your carpool friends. Apart from that it is more fun than just driving alone.
6. Make New Friends
Carpooling is certainly a good deal! Nothing like having too many friends! Carpooling is a wonderful way to make new pals. I have seen this happen before. People who met through carpools become good friends and they take their friendships the next level by attending birthday parties together and other cool events.
7. Prolong the Life of Your Vehicle:
Carpool means you are not always driving your car! Meaning less mileage.
8. Save Time
Carpool means you can save time and jump into the high occupancy vehicle lane also known as HOV lane, lanes on major highways dedicated to carpool travel. Carpool also gives you access to prime parking spots.
There are certain issues you need to work out before you start carpooling in order for this to be successful.
1. Have a firm Schedule:
It is important you and your carpool friends come up with a plan regarding scheduling in order to reduce confusion. Will sharing driving duties be done on a daily basis or weekly or even monthly?
You all need to know what you are getting into right from the beginning.
It is important for everyone in your carpool to be punctual at all times. You really should not be honking for your passengers. Agree on a set time for pick up that way you are not disturbing the neighborhood.
3. Conversations, Smoking and Eating:
You need to know how you and your carpool friends feel about eating in the car, smoking, reading, chatting and even listening to the radio right from the start.
4. Side Trips:
In order to have a carpool that lasts, it is better not to have side trips. However, you can still discuss so you can all be on the same page.
For example, everyone in your carpool may prefer to pick up pizza on their way home on Fridays or someone may need to pick up clothes from the dry cleaner’s. So it is important to talk about this right from the beginning.
5. Ensure you have a Backup Plain:
So if the person that needs to drive suddenly becomes ill or simply just can’t make it for some reason, you need to who replaces that person. This means there has to be a backup plan which you all need to have established right from the beginning.
6. Maintain a Clean Car Policy:
The car takes you to and from work should be clean at all times. In order for you to have peace of mind, the car should also be comfortable and serviced regularly.
7. Safe Driving:
Safety should come first! For a smooth and safe ride to and from work, everyone in your carpool should drive safely and maintain speed limits at all times.
Now what if a driver is having a bad day and decides to drive at high speeds? The best thing to do is caution the driver politely and reminding them that they are a good driver and that they should slow down.
8. You may have to Adjust:
First you need to understand that carpooling is not just about you anymore; this means you may need to adjust your behavior for this to be successful. For example, you may need to listening to the news as opposed to the music you enjoy.
9. Good hygiene:
It is important to be neat and tidy at all times to avoid body odor. This will make everyone comfortable in the ride. You need to discuss ahead if the carpool will be free of scent.
10. Setting a temperature for the car:
Little things like how hot or cold the car should be can cause arguments which I’m sure you do not want. So discussing this ahead will make this a win win for everyone. Come up with a plan to determine what temperature will be okay for everyone.
I hope the carpooling definition, benefits and tips for success that I have pointed out above encourages you or someone you know to get involved in carpooling and start sharing your car especially if this is something that might be good for you. You save gas, money, time and even the environment by carpooling.
Though walking, taking public transit and biking are options you should consider first, they may not be practical depending on where you live or work.
Carpooling is environmentally friendly and it is also a great way to save money on car maintenance, fuel and insurance. Air quality improves, when there are fewer cars on the road. Another tip I will leave you with is this – never share your car with someone you do not trust.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have comments, please leave them below.