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Carpooling Tips

When you’re setting up your carpool, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared. Check out our carpooling advice and safety tips below and start carpooling today!

General Advice

  • Check with your insurance company to see if your coverage will be sufficient to handle extra passengers in your car.
  • Make sure you mention any preferences you have when creating your carpool profile, such as smoking preferences, eating in the vehicle, etc. This could help you find a compatible carpool buddy.
  • Look for riders in your area and in the areas you pass through on the way to your campus or location.

Set Some Guidelines

To get the most out of your carpool, it’s a good idea to set some guidelines with your fellow carpoolers. Here are some tips to get you started:

Develop a schedule

  • Figure out the time of arrival at the final destination. That way, everyone gets where they need to be when they need to be there.
  • Set up pickup times and locations for each carpooler.
  • Establish how often throughout a week the carpool will run.
  • Determine who will be the driver. Consider rotating the schedule to save on wear and tear of vehicles.
  • Decide if the carpool is going to reimburse the driver for gas and maintenance.

Lay down some ground rules

Talk to your fellow carpoolers about your expectations regarding:

  • Smoking
  • Music type and volume
  • Food and drink
  • Unscheduled stops
  • Gossip
  • Talking on cell phones

Decide how you’ll handle tardiness

  • It's common to wait three to five minutes for someone who is running late.
  • Decide on consequences for those who are chronically late. 

Determine how you’ll communicate with your fellow carpoolers if plans change

  • It’s a good idea to have a primary driver and a backup driver, just in case.
  • Let your carpool know ahead of time if you plan to be absent for any reason.

Consider Safety

If you’re setting up a carpool with someone you don’t know, make sure you think about your safety. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Remember that not everyone can be trusted. Trust your initial feelings, and don’t travel with someone you don’t trust.
  • Confirm fellow carpoolers’ phone numbers by calling them and checking with a phone book or their Facebook profile if they have one.
  • Before you begin carpooling, it’s always a good idea to meet each other in person, in a public, well-lit place, to discuss the agreement.
  • Be sure that when you meet for the first time, you have the carpooler bring personal information such as plate numbers, license numbers and insurance information. Share this information with friends. Make sure the car picking you up is the one described to you.
  • Get a personal reference.
  • Exchange emergency contact information before traveling.
  • Be sure to tell someone close to you all the details of your carpool. Include the people involved, route and schedule.
  • Don’t carry or expose large amounts of cash or other valuables. 

Thanks to Western Kentucky University’s Department of Parking and Transportation Services for allowing us to share their carpooling tips with you.