Almost all of us have had the bad experience of traveling with an obnoxious fellow passenger who has clearly never heard of ride etiquette. Whether it’s loud talking on the phone or understanding the seat sharing dynamics, these travelers just do not seem to follow the basic group ride etiquettes. While in a means of public transport, you’re helpless as the ride is being shared by multiple passengers but what about a cab or a carpool?
At some point or other, all of us have got stuck with such inconsiderate travelers. If you have been lucky in avoiding this disaster, then, think. Are you by any chance that nasty rider? Do you unknowingly disobey the group ride etiquettes and let others suffer in silence?
Even if you’re sharing a carpool as a rider or as a driver, there is a mandatory need to follow basic ride etiquettes. In India, considering the population, it is difficult to teach each and every rider the importance of ride etiquettes. But not everything can be blamed on the population when, we, are actually one of the elements of this crowd.
Most people use carpool to work and home as their daily commute. Imagine getting stuck with someone who does not respect your vehicle, other people’s privacy, and, continue showing this disrespectful attitude over and over again. There has to be a better way!
Today, we have decided to help you understand the expected group ride etiquettes in a carpool. These ride etiquettes can come handy in any mode of travel. So, take some time off and read habits that shift other traveler’s gears and are a big No-No especially in a carpool.
Avoid talking loudly on a phone in a carpool
Ah! You were so glad to switch to carpool from Uber and Ola. First, the prices of a carpool will bring a smile on your face and second you no longer have to hear your cab driver chatting on the phone all the time.
But that joy was shortlived as soon as you shared your carpool with Mr.’X’. Ride etiquettes were clearly out of the window, standing still under the scorching heat and traffic of Silk Road. Your fellow riders have their right to privacy even in a carpool.
Don’t be MR. X. While it is best to avoid taking a call but if it’s an emergency try not to be loud. Nobody is interested in hearing what your uncle had for dinner last night or how your boss just does not understand the value of your time. This is one of the basic group ride etiquettes and it’s really embarrassing to remind people about it.
Be considerate towards your carpool rider’s vehicle
For any car owner, a car is their prized asset. What do you do when you get your first car? You will take it to the closest temple for blessings and then proudly adorn a diety on the dashboard. Some of us go to the extent of keeping polythene wrappers on the seats intact even when the car is now 1-2 years old. That’s the kind of love Indians share with their vehicles.
Respect your carpool owners vehicle and be considerate towards the car. Avoid eating or drinking in the car to avoid any spill. And if that happens, offer to clean or pay for cleaning services.
While growing up before visiting a relative’s or family friends house, we all went to through the drill of how to behave and what not to do in their house. This is very similar to that drill. There is no shame in following these basic ride etiquettes than to be an obnoxious co-traveler. Do you want to be “that guy” that people diss while talking over the drinks? Group ride etiquettes are basic good behavioral aspects that are not at all difficult to follow.
Avoid being that creepy DJ in a carpool
We all have a distinct taste in music and that is what makes all of us different. Not everyone will like the same song that you like. Some men do enjoy listening to Taylor Swift, so what? Do not jump in the car asking for an AUX. This seems to be a common habit than an expected ride etiquette.
If there is already music playing in the car, adjust to it. Or you can request to change but only if the car owner and other fellow passengers are comfortable with this demand. This attitude is okay in a cab ride but in a carpool, you’re sharing a ride not owning it.
Be a Lady or a Gentleman
“I call shotgun”, calling it out loud while boarding a carpool for the first time just doesn’t sound right. Yes, you’re free to do with your friends or if you have become good friends with your carpool group. But if you are not a close friend just don’t do it.
If your carpool is being shared by all men and a woman board it at the later stage, then, ride etiquettes are to offer the lady the front seat.
Imagine two colleagues working in the same office and carpooling to work every day. And, suddenly a woman traveler barges in commanding one of them to sit behind. While out of courtesy, they may switch seat but does it feel right? As a lady, please understand and respect group ride etiquettes. And do not use the woman card whenever you see an opportunity. You want to be empowered, there you go, you are now. Use this empowerment responsibly.
Your children are your responsibility
Carpool is not solely meant for office commuters. While the majority of users are office goers but this does not mean that the rest of the people cannot use it. It bewilders me how some parents become totally ignorant of what their kids are doing in a public environment. Kids will be kids, understood. But disciplining them is equally important.
While sharing a carpool, please respect these basic group ride etiquettes. Try to keep your kids entertained especially when traveling with a toddler. Giving them a tablet, while you’re busy loudly gossiping about your mother-in-law on the phone is not a solution. Teach your kids to keep their voices down, stay with you and respect other passenger’s privacy when traveling.
I just need to buy a cigarette, can you stop for a minute?
This attitude is a big No-No in ride etiquettes journal. When sharing a carpool, understand, that every other rider is on the way to their destined destination. Making unnecessary stops will not only delay your time but affect other people’s time of arrival too.
Stopping a carpool for a pick-up or procuring personal items is just not acceptable. This is not a road trip where you can stop your vehicle as and when you please. Especially, if you’re carpooling with Quick Ride, then, understand this is a professional service.
You’re not a Driving Teacher, don’t act like one
Everybody has a different style of doing things. Our handwriting, our way of talking, eating everything is different and so is our driving style. “You could have cut him”, “overtake him, fast”, “You should have parked it a little more towards the right”. Sigh, Just stop this!
You are free to be the driving instructor when driving with friends or family. But in a carpool, please keep a check on this habit. This ride etiquette when not followed can even result in blacklisting from carpool websites as nobody wants to take orders from a stranger.
Personal hygiene should not be reminded
Forget group ride etiquettes, what are the basic etiquettes? Maintaining your personal hygiene is a personal affair (notice the word p-e-r-s-o-n-a-l). Understand, you will be sharing a carpool with unknown people. But that does not mean they have to hold their nose just because somebody forgot to take a shower, again!
Maintain basic personal hygiene when sharing a carpool. Do not indulge in gross habits to pass your time. And for heaven’s sake do not dig your nose or cut your nails or even clean your armpits (ladies, people can see you doing it!) in a carpool or any public transport for that matter.
Do not Litter
Whatever you bring with you in a carpool also leaves with you when you exit. If you come across unnecessary or old receipts and can’t control the urge to dispose of, then, keep it in your bag. While throwing in the car is strictly against the ride etiquettes, so, is throwing outside on the road.
Come on, these things should not be reminded to grown-up people. These are the fundamental ride etiquettes expected from all.
Don’t be AC paranoid
“Can you tone down the cooling”, “Is the AC ON, I cannot feel it”, “Are we in Shimla, lol”
No, there is no ‘LOL’ element here. If you can’t stand AC, please bring a jacket or an extra pullover for the ride. Do not force other’s to sweat in heat just because our madam can’t take AC. If it is totally unbearable, then be polite enough to take everyone’s consent.
If you raise a request politely, people do consider it. Being sarcastic, mean or rude will only give you disapproving looks. Understand and act responsibly.
We live in a society which means we are bound to follow some basic ride etiquettes when carpooling or sharing a ride. No matter how much time you spend in a carpool, make it a pleasant experience for all the other fellow riders.