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8 tips to help you buff up on your carpool etiquette

Happy employees carpooling together

When riding in a carpool it’s important to be respectful and courteous to everyone inside the car. Keep in mind, something very minor to you could be annoying to the person riding next to you. Here are some tips to help keep harmony intact with your carpool buddies:

1.  Respect the agreement

Be sure to hold up your end of the bargain as to whatever was discussed and agreed to during the initial setup of the carpool. Have a clear understanding of what’s expected from you in terms of driving responsibilities, expenses, pickup locations and times, and notifying others in case of an emergency.

2.  Clean car

Let’s be honest! Nobody wants to ride in a dirty or messy car. When it’s your turn to drive be sure to wipe the car down inside and out. Also, be sure to move any miscellaneous items from the seat to the trunk of the car.

3.  Advance notice

Life happens and sometimes you can’t avoid running late. That’s okay! Just be sure to notify the people in your carpool so they can make other arrangements if need be.

4.  General conversations vs. urgent calls

That funny story about your dog chasing a squirrel up a tree can probably wait until later. Try to minimize conversations on your cell phone to urgent matters and be mindful of the length of time.

5.  Food & beverage

Treat everyone’s car as if it was your own car. Never assume it’s okay to eat and drink inside someone else’s car. Be sure to get permission from all carpool members before entering the car with your breakfast fare. If you do eat in someone else's car, always clean up after yourself and gather any trash before exiting.

6.  Silence vs. entertainment

Some people may prefer to ride in silence while others enjoy listening to the radio. If you are the driver, don’t hesitate to ask if someone has a preference and be sure to keep the volume at a reasonable level. Also, you may want to consider rotating who’s in charge of selecting the music each week.

7.  Avoid hot button topics

Given everything in the news, it’s difficult not to have an opinion on issues. However, in order to avoid any potential conflict, it’s best to shy away from discussing these types of issues. Try having friendly and lighthearted conversations during the commute.

8.  Distracting the driver

Whether it’s playing games on your smartphone or putting on your make-up, you should always be aware of your actions inside the car. Make sure that you do not become a distraction by preventing the designated driver from concentrating on the road.