Driving can cause more than road rage – it can wreak havoc on relationships. Whether stuck in traffic or riding for hours with the in-laws, spending time on the road has serious potential to turn family fun into family feud. So why not start the New Year off with a resolution to become the ultimate chauffeur and impeccably polite passenger? To help ease the stress of driving, here are some tips to usher in the New Year as a more gracious driver and helpful, patient passenger.
As the great-great-grandson of one of the world’s foremost etiquette experts, Emily Post, Daniel Post Senning shares how simple car courtesies can make travel more enjoyable for everyone. Top Ten Holiday Travel Etiquette Tips First and foremost, drivers are hosts. You wouldn’t invite family and friends to your home without planning for their comfort and entertainment, so why get behind the wheel without thinking through the drive? With these tips in mind, modern-day drivers are sure to experience comfortable and enjoyable travel.
1. Chivalry’s not dead… it just looks different nowadays. Holding the door for someone will never go out of style, but with automated keyless entry and remote start, modern protocol can prove puzzling. Today, driver chivalry means unlocking the door before your guest even tries to open it, or getting the ideal temperature (and even the heated or cooled seats) in the car ready before Grandma buckles up for a the trip.
2. Let the grand tour begin. Just like you would show a guest at your home where the restroom and kitchen are located, let passengers know about the controls they have for entertainment systems, seats and windows. Make sure all of your passengers have what they need before your trip begins.
3. Content beats boredom. When stuck in dreaded traffic, a little preparation goesa long way toward preventing boredom. With in-car entertainment and communication systemsit’s easier than ever to bring a world of content along for the ride. 4. If the driver is host, the passenger is honored guest. You wouldn’t show up to your host’s home empty-handed, so don’t forget the same courtesy for your driver. Offer to help pay for gas, fetch snacks and drinks, and pack the car with suitcases and holiday gifts.
5. Traveling with family? Avoid the stress of incessant “Are we there yet?” conversations by building an itinerary and communicating your plans. Talk about stops for food and restroom breaks so everyone knows what to expect. Kids can follow along, track progress, anticipate their favorite spots – even figure out arrival times on their own.
6. Don’t play the passive passenger. If you’re lucky enough to be sitting in the front passenger seat on a long journey, assist your driver through helpful communication. Be sure to stay alert and keep an eye out for road signs. Above all, avoid all comments on how your chauffeur is driving – no one likes a back seat driver,
7. Control distractions. A distracted driver is a safety hazard. As a polite passenger, defer to your chauffeur and offer to play DJ or navigate the control screen to make the job easier.In today’s technology landscape, cars come with growing app libraries of their own – and just like smartphones, nearly everyone can use a reminder on their polite use. Make sure in-car innovations serve to enhance, not hinder, your enjoyment of holiday travel.
8. Diffuse tension in a tight space. We’re all familiar with the drama that can ensue when hitting the road for the holidays. From arguments over the middle seat to debates over the radio station, tight quarters can lead to curt conversation. To diffuse tension, call on in-car features to lighten the mood.
9. Support existing safety systems. Battling that sleepy feeling after a big dinner? Remember, the temptation to fall asleep on the way home affects both driver and passenger. If you’ve been spared the role of designated driver and are riding comfortably in the passenger seat, don’t begin to snooze as soon as the heated seats kick in – stay alert and talk with your driver. 10. Be kind, respect the lines. We all know not to fight over precious parking spaces, but it goes further than that. In a crowded parking lot on the holidays, no one likes the driver who straddles two spots. Selfish behaviour is never in style, but careless parking is especially frowned upon during the season of giving.