There is a worldwide drive towards reducing motorized transport. Transport officials are focusing much of their attention on reducing traffic congestion by reducing the number of vehicles on our roads as well as increasing the opportunity for public transport.
One aspect which needs to be emphasized as well is the benefits of ridesharing through lift clubs. Earlier this month our Road Safety Partner Eqstra announced the launch of BestLiftClub.co.za.
We have also shared information on lift clubs, ridesharing and carpooling on the Arrive Alive website, and would like to quote from this:
What is ridesharing / carpooling?
It is a way of people sharing their cars with others who are traveling in the same direction. Commuters that live near each other and share a common destination can travel together in one vehicle and form the simplest and most common “carpool” arrangement. Carpooling is an ideal cost saving arrangement, particularly for those individuals who commute long distances to and from work each day, have limited access to public transit and few transportation options available to them.
Types of carpools
Designated Driver Carpool
This carpool generally has one driver and one or more passengers. The driver provides the vehicle and passengers pay a daily, weekly or monthly fare based on expenses such as petrol, maintenance and parking.
Enjoy the simplicity of a carpool in which driving is alternated on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Costs are incurred only during the period in which you are required to drive. Or, put simply — when you drive you pay, when you ride it’s free.
Some employers encourage employees to share the ride to and from work by allowing the use of company vehicles. Employees pay a fare to offset additional petrol, maintenance and insurance costs. As most company vehicles sit idle in parking lots after business hours this system can benefit both employers and employees. Employers can save their parking for paying customers while demonstrating their environmental responsibility and employees can save money.
Carpooling is not only flexible and economical but also helps reduce air pollution, traffic congestion and consumption of non-renewable energy resources.
Benefits of ridesharing/ carpooling
Ensure a Healthy Environment for Future Generations
There is a more tragic cost related to automobile use: degradation of our environment. Every day, millions of vehicles pump pollutants into our atmosphere. Some of this fall to earth, fouling streams and contaminating crops. Others rise into the stratosphere, damaging the ozone layer and causing global climate warming – the “greenhouse effect”.
Still more of these pollutants cling close to earth, inhaled with every breath we take. Air pollution is a proven cause in several lung ailments, from asthma to emphysema.
Ridesharing reduces the impact of automobiles on our roadways and our environment very simply – by traveling in groups rather than alone, ridesharing decreases the number of vehicles on our roads.
Carpooling or ridesharing can save you up to half of all your petrol and maintenance costs and in some cases eliminate the need for the costly second family vehicle.
Arrive feeling relaxed
We’ve gone from ox-wagon to millions of cars on South Africa’s roads. Increased road rage and gridlock affect everyone. One of the greatest benefits of sharing the ride to work is taking the stress out of driving. Read, sleep, work, socialise or just plain relax instead of being stuck behind the wheel yourself.
NOTE: Be Alert to the Implications of Ridesharing and Lift Clubs on your Car Insurance
It is important to be vigilant to the importance of having the vehicle used for ridesharing correctly insured! Ridesharing may allow the opportunity for vehicle owners to benefit from Pay As You Drive Car Insurance where those vehicle owners are traveling less in their own cars.
It is however also important to ask the following questions:
- Which vehicles are we using – is it one vehicle or do we take turns using the vehicles of all vehicle owners?
- What is the “purpose of use” of the vehicle?
We need to be aware that where money is involved and paid for the use of a specific vehicle for transportation – the insurer of that vehicle may deem such a vehicle as being used for business purposes – and thereby putting it in a new insurable risk bracket….
Best advice would be for the owners of vehicles in a Lift Club or Car Pooling arrangement to contact their insurers, to explain their specific scenarios and to confirm in writing how the vehicle is to be used.
This will help to avoid nasty surprises and agony at the time an insurance claim is submitted!