“This stand-still traffic is just what I needed!”…said no one. Ever.
You might be horrified to realize that the average American spends about 40 hours per year stuck in traffic. This seems like a really gigantic waste of our precious time. It’s such a waste of time that some experts have done studies on how we can reduce the time spent in our cars. The solution is as simple as carpooling.
Carpooling to Reduce Traffic
By carpooling once per week, American traffic could be cut by up to 20%. Up ridesharing to twice per week and we would spare 1,600 pounds of greenhouse gasses per year. In addition to clearing up roads and cleaning up the environment, carpooling can help people save the one thing everyone seems to want more of: Money.
How Carpooling Saves You Money
- Less Car Maintenance: Reducing how much you drive your vehicle means less wear and tear. Less wear and tear equates to fewer oil changes and tire rotations, and an overall reduction in routine car maintenance. Estimates show that the average carpooler can save up to $600 per month. Additionally, driving your vehicle less means it will depreciate at a slower rate amounting to a higher resale or trade-in value if you eventually decide to upgrade your car.
- Lower Insurance Premiums: Insurance companies calculate your premiums based on several factors including age, type of vehicle, and the amount you drive. Obviously the more you drive, the greater the risk of an accident. Carpooling cuts back on your mileage and may help you qualify for additional discounts. Ask your insurance provider if they offer discounts for low mileage and/or carpooling.
- Plunging Pump Prices: In 2015, the average household spent almost $2,000 on gas. Additionally, it takes about 13 million barrels of oil to fuel the nearly 300 million cars driving on US roads. Participating in a carpool saves you money on gas as well as helping the environment by cutting back on pollution and unnecessary oil drilling.
If you decide carpooling is the right choice for you, tips to keep your carpool buddies on friend-terms:
- Keep your vehicle clean and clutter-free
- Drive safely obeying speed limits and respecting other traffic laws
- Respect other people’s vehicles: Don’t eat, drink, or smoke in anyone’s car unless this is something that’s been agreed upon beforehand.
- Set guidelines for what is okay and not okay in yours and other carpool members’ cars
- Be courteous and communicate. Let your fellow carpoolers know if you are running late or if you can’t carpool on a certain day.
- Bring up controversial topics such as religion or politics unless you know in advance that you and your fellow carpoolers enjoy discussing/debating such topics.
- Ask drivers to stop along the way for you to take care of personal business.
- Make a habit of being late.
- Talk on the phone at length or monopolize conversations while in the carpool.