With an estimated 90 percent of Americans expected to take a road trip this holiday season, the potential for road rage – inside and outside the car – is high.
Ford Motor Co. and The Emily Post Institute developed the following tips to show that a little bit of courtesy can go a long way on the road.
Drivers Are Hosts
1. Chivalry is not dead.
Modern chivalry means unlocking the doors before your passengers try to open them or heating the car before anyone enters it.
2. Let the grand tour begin.
Treat your passengers like guests in your home. Identify power sources and explain the controls for entertainment systems, temperature, seats and windows.
3. Content beats boredom.
Prepare playlists, podcasts or audiobooks to keep everyone entertained on the drive.
4. The passenger is the guest.
Thank the driver for taking on driving duties by helping to pay for gas, buying snacks and drinks and loading luggage into the car.
Communication Is Key
1. To Grandmother's house we go.
Build an itinerary and talk about plans for food and restroom stops.
2. Don't play the passive passenger.
Stay alert and watch for road signs (but resist the urge to become a backseat driver).
3. Chat with Mimi more than Siri.
Talk to your passengers more than you communicate with your car or your phone.
4. Control distractions.
Offer to play DJ or navigate for the driver to reduce distractions, and help keep the noise level low enough that the driver can still hear directions.
New Tech Means New Manners
1. Connectivity caution.
Keep hard copies of your directions in case you lose cell reception, and download music ahead of time to keep the tunes playing even when streaming is unavailable.
2. Diffuse tension in a tight space.
Do what you can to avoid curt conversations and break up tension, even if it's something as simple as changing the radio station or switching seats in the car.
3. Support existing safety systems.
Just because you're not driving, doesn't mean you should fall asleep as soon as you get in the car. Stay awake and alert to help the designated driver.
4. Be kind, respect the lines.
Don't be selfish and occupy more than one parking spot during the busy travel season.