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What Are the Benefits of Carpooling?

Updated: May 23


Carpooling

Are you thinking about abandoning the daily drive to work? You can help reduce our carbon footprint, which is key to our planet’s health and survival. You can also lower your fuel costs and avoid hassles with alternative transportation methods. You have many options, including biking and public transport, but carpooling has some unique advantages of its own. In this brief guide, you’ll learn about the benefits of carpooling, plus some tips to make the most out of your trips.


Using the Carpool Lane


Carpoolers can use high-occupancy vehicle lanes for their travels. Also known as HOV or carpool lanes, they help reduce traffic congestion in two ways. Carpool riders aren’t driving, so their vehicles aren’t on the roads. HOV lanes also separate your vehicle from regular traffic, reducing its volume and congestion further. Even better, vehicles in a carpool lane can often travel faster, potentially reducing commute times.


Trading Off Driving


Driving every day can feel like a chore, especially if you’re tired. The CDC estimates that around 35% of Americans don’t get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Cognitive impairments from lack of sleep can mimic alcohol intoxication, interfering with judgment and slowing down reaction times. But even if you aren’t tired, one of the benefits of carpooling is taking breaks from driving and reducing your stress.


Saving Money on Gas


Spending less on fuel is another key benefit of carpooling. Fuel is a significant part of commute costs, costing each American adult between $1,000 and $1,500 per year. But these fuel costs plummet when you rideshare with others. Besides lowering your cost of gas, you’ll also pay less for parking spaces.


Other helpful gas-saving tips include performing regular vehicle maintenance, which maintains its efficiency. Meanwhile, you enjoy another one of the benefits of carpooling: less wear and tear on your vehicle.


Better for the Environment


It’s sometimes difficult to comprehend how each driver contributes to carbon dioxide emissions. But some stats from the EPA can help put it into perspective:

  • The typical passenger vehicle travels around 11,500 miles per year, getting about 22 miles per gallon of fuel.

  • Each vehicle emits an average of 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide in one year.

  • Vehicles can release about 28 pounds of CO2 every day.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, which traps heat inside our planet’s atmosphere. The more carbon we release into the air, the more heat becomes trapped, and the warmer Earth becomes. Temperatures, since 1880, have already risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit, triggering events like melting polar ice caps, severe droughts, and mega-storms.


Reducing emissions and air pollution can help slow down the global temperature increases and avoid barreling towards a worst-case scenario for our planet. By choosing to carpool, you’re cutting down on your daily, monthly, and even yearly emissions. For each carpool buddy in your group, that’s another vehicle off the road and not putting out CO2. And those small changes can add up.


Advantages for Your Wallet, Your Mental Health, and Our Planet


The biggest benefits of carpooling include lower fuel costs, improved air quality, and reduced stress. With each additional person in your rideshare group, everyone can maximize these benefits. Consider setting up a regular rideshare with your coworkers. Also, check with your employer to see if it has a carpooling program with employee incentives.


Each personal, financial, and environmental benefit leads to short-term and long-term gains for everyone involved. And when you fill up, don’t forget to stop at your nearest Zelmo’s Zip In.


Image Source: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

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