You may love maneuvering in your prized SUV and zip off to work with your designer sunglasses and crisp attire every morning. Your driveway is serene and wishes luck for you to reach your workplace in due time. You are eager and enthusiastic to negotiate the traffic when you are a newbie on the road, however, your feelings may drastically change when you become a veteran at driving on congested roads. It is here that you realize the importance of 'space-ial' driving.
You should not be surprised to find yourself muttering foul words at co-drivers, (You may have an unbelievably great vocabulary!) cursing your stars to no end, raising your blood sugar to toast at the prospect of getting stuck in rush hour traffic! Why? An emergency meeting, a tele-conversation with a prospective client, or just an urge to reach work in time; are but a few reasons to compel you to drive yourself and not use public transport. To avoid such situations, the concept of carpooling emerged!
Carpooling is simply a decision taken by a group of people to share a ride towards a common destination or location. When you decide on carpooling, you not only save T.I.M.E. -- Time. Interest. Money. Energy -- you ensure that you do not succumb to a fuel-fit when your car indicator hits 'economy' with a trip or two. You are also contributing your wee bit in lessening the number of codrivers and increasing the number of cocommuters.
Advantages of Carpooling
Friend to Fuel
So you are fed-up of vrooming your car back and forth for work and treating it for a fuel fill every now and then. It is high time that you switch to carpooling as this is one decision that will save fuel and conserve energy. Cars produce gases that harm the environment. Even if you possess the most fuel-efficient car, it would be a smarter choice to carpool because not only do you save fuel, but also do your bit to prevent the effects of global warming.
The tradition of carpooling dates back to the late 70's during the time of the oil embargo. The current scenario, although a bit different, also requires judicial use of fuel, what with the limited resources and the rise of global warming. Thus, the carpooling practice saves gas, protects the greens and keeps your pockets puffed up too!
Slowdown on Wear and Tear
Wear and tear is a natural phenomenon that every machine goes through courtesy vehicular movement. The process cannot be altogether avoided, nevertheless it can be slowed to preserve and preferably extend its longevity. It has been observed that groups who take to carpooling ensure that their vehicles exhibit wear and tear at a slower rate. Constant braking, accelerating, bump driving are major culprits in having the gear box, the brakes, tires and engine go kaput.
Takes a Toll on Traffic
What strikes the mind when you think 'driving'? Ear-shattering honks, foul-mouthed codrivers, braking every 5 seconds? Well, when you carpool you have three or four fewer cars on the road (depending on the passengers in your car). Less number of cars on the roads equals to lesser traffic and subsequently less pollution. You end up easily navigating and maneuvering your way to your destination.
If you are interested in making new friends and love socializing, then what best than teaming up for a carpool! You are sure to have an addition to your list of friends. Chatting away or discussing important work related issues; conversations about almost anything under the sun will make the journey worthwhile.
When it comes to parking your car, we demand security for the vehicle. Parking becomes easier and all the more convenient when there are less number of occupants in the parking lot. The parking toll is thus shared amongst the carpooling members which saves individual pockets from creating dents! You may work peacefully without worrying about your car's safety.
Points to Ponder
While you have made up your mind in making arrangements for carpooling, certain pointers must be nailed rather jotted down on a sheet for greater clarity. A set of pointers are enlisted in this section of the article. All you have to do is to abide by the list and you may consider your job half done!
- Share a comfortable rapport with your co-passenger. Fix up a casual meet, where you could interact with each other. Revealing too much about yourself and your personal well-being in the very first go, may not be a good idea. So, think before you speak!
- Discuss each others' driving habits. It's a Must. Remember that you are not just carrying yourself back and forth, but you are responsible for a couple of more lives who have trusted your wheeling capabilities.
- Negotiate on the basis of regulating restrictions; issues such as smoking in the car premises, eating or munching snacks or treating yourself to a messy buffet may not be appreciated by the car owner as encouraging these habits may blotch up the car interiors, further contributing to creating a mess in the car.
- Urge to have a look at some of your co-passengers' important papers such as a driver's license and oblige by doing the same through your end so that you are sure about his identity.
- Draw up an agreement of sorts to address issues such as who would be informed when one is ill. How would the circumstance be handled during rush hours? How far flexibility could be allowed with regards to pick and drop? What about the choice of music? Will it be based on mutual understanding or would the fate of the play list be designed by the privileged one on the wheels?
- Fix the number of stops that you may unanimously take while traveling. Complying to several stops during transit to file up your personal chores should not be encouraged.
- Respect individual preferences in terms of commuting behavior and etiquette. Yapping throughout the journey maybe fun for some, but for those who look forward to a peaceful drive back home may not find it equally appealing a premise.
Carpooling is a concept that is gradually catching up with its beneficial roots buried deep, only to emerge as the environment savior. Where else would you find an alternative that tags you the nature patriot-cum-pocket puffer!