Driving Your Own Car to Work vs. Carpooling
For many Frederick County residents, commuting 1-2 hours a day to get to and from their DC area jobs is the norm. According to one Washington Post poll, “Washington-area residents spend nearly twice as long getting to work as people in the rest of the nation. They also get stuck in traffic jams three times more often than commuters in the rest of the country” (Ginsburg). Yet, most commuters in our area still prefer to drive themselves to work. When weighing the option to either drive yourself to work or carpool, it would be smart to consider the benefits and drawbacks of both, as well as to take an inventory of how each option fits your priorities, goals, and preferences. A carpool is made up of two or more people who share a ride. The obvious benefits of carpooling include reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality; while some of the more personal benefits of carpooling are: being able to relax or read while someone else drives, saving on the cost of gas, reducing wear and tear on your vehicle, and obtaining possible discounts on auto insurance (“Transportation Options”). It is also most likely to be faster, cheaper, cleaner, and less crowded than public transportation (Zimmerman). Recently, the Internet has made it easier to connect with locals that want to share a ride. Disadvantages of carpooling may include: having to ride with strangers (or putting yourself out there and making the effort to meet new people), not having the freedom to run errands on the way home if needed, and having to remember carpool etiquette (Zimmerman). People sharing rides typically live and/or work near each other and have a similar work schedule – which could be difficult to arrange (Yeager). One disadvantage of being a carpool driver is the potential legal action from passengers in the case of an accident. Although most metropolitan area carpool organizations these days offer a “guaranteed...
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