To start of this year’s series of “This Holiday Season’s Driving Tips”, we’ll first be looking at ground rules that focus on the driver-passenger relationship. Drivers are hosts, first and foremost, and whether you’re showing off your new ride to your old-time high school buddies, or taking road trips via the family sedan, here are some tips to make sure that you, the driver, do everything you can to make your passengers welcome:
- 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 Aunt Ethel even tries to open it, or getting the heat (and even the heated seats) going before Grandma buckles up for a chilly trip to Christmas dinner.
- Let the grand tour begin. Your passengers may not be all that familiar with your ride. Put them at ease; give them a tour to help them feel more at home. 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. Identify power sources for phones and electronics, like the smart-charging USB ports in the rear of the vehicle that provide easy access. Make sure all of your passengers have what they need before your trip begins.
- Content beats boredom. When stuck in dreaded Thanksgiving traffic, a little preparation goes a long way toward preventing boredom. Before hopping behind the wheel, curate your upcoming road trip with podcasts, audiobooks, TED Talks –even online classes. Traveling with pals to your annual Friendsgiving gathering? Build a Spotify playlist from your senior year, suggest a series, or learn something about your destination together. With in-car entertainment and communication systems like Ford SYNC 3, it’s easier than ever to bring a world of content along for the ride.
- If the driver is host, the passenger is honored guest. You wouldn’t show up to your Chanukah host’s home empty-handed, so don’t forget the same courtesy for your driver. To thank him or her for bearing the stress of high-pressure holiday driving, lighten the load by taking on some responsibilities of your own. Offer to help pay for gas, fetch snacks and drinks, and pack the car with suitcases and holiday gifts.