Ridesharing – fuel and congestion savings for all?

There is no doubt that taking passengers keeps the roads clearer and cuts down on the monotony of commuting by car. The trouble is, finding people to share your journeys with.

With potential ridesharers now advertising in local newspapers, or social networking sites, some advice about personal safety and precautions has been issued.

"It is much easier and safer to arrange a good ride-share via the web than it is to take your chances by the side of the road." suggests Jim Buckmaster, chief executive officer of Craigslist – an advertising website.

The advice, however, is to get to know a little about your potential lift before you meet. Obviously, they need to be a safe driver, and you need to discuss whether you will pay for the journeys, or swap over the driving responsibility – weekly, monthly or whatever. It may be useful to name the other person as a driver on your own vehicle insurance, in case of injury or illness.

Women may feel safer only accepting lifts from other women, and in all cases you should keep your phone with you, and let others know where you will be, and as many details about the other person as possible (such as car registration number).

Then there are the things that make life a bit more pleasant – such as smoker/non-smoker and musical/radio station preference or travelling in silence.

If car-sharing motorway lanes do start to be designated in the UK, then ridesharing could be a good way to make new friends, whilst saving money and CO2 emissions.

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