Before I go on with this post – the definition of “shotgun” in this context is a front seat passenger. Just so we’re all on the same page! 🙂
Out of the many lessons my mom have taught me from my early ages in life, one lesson has stuck with me without me even realizing it and that is – do not sit in the passenger seat unless you can bear the responsibilities of a front seat passenger. I remember on really long road trips with my family when I was younger, I would ALWAYS want to sit in the front with my dad because I felt cool haha. My mom in the back would always tell me to make sure whatever my dad needed help with, I needed to make sure I was awake to assist him with whether it be food, water, directions, music etc. Long story short, ever since I was little, if I knew I wanted to sleep in the car, my butt would go straight to the back seat.
So, here it is peoples! 5 Indicators you are a Prestige Shotgun Rider:
1. You are the navigator.
Yes, nowadays everyone has the GPS, but sometimes the darn thing never warns you your next left turn is in the next minute while you are in the farthest right lane. You make sure that the driver knows at least 4-5 minutes out what the next turn/exit it so he/she can prepare to be in the right lane. As well, if the weather conditions are bad – for example, if it’s foggy, you as shotgun need to be able to keep updating the driver if the roads are going straight, if it’s wavy etc. to avoid having the car go off road. Also, if you come across a surprise accident on the road or a road closure, you need to be able to quickly re-route your driver to another route. A lot more responsibility than you thought eh?!
2. You are a personal waitress.
Your driver can never go hungry. Hunger driver = angry driver = dangerous driver = no fun = you might die. The little things truly make a difference and you really understand it when you start driving. For example, opening a water bottle by yourself while driving vs. someone opening the cap for you and handing you the water bottle makes it easier by a MILE. Similarly, unwrapping foods to make it less work for the driver is also the responsibility of shotgun. In some cases of bad road conditions, hand feeding the driver fries, chips etc. is necessary. The driver will appreciate it SO much – especially when you’re driving for a long period of time. Think about it – the person driving you has your life in their hands .. you better make them and their stomach happy!
3. You are an alarm clock that doesn’t stop ringing.
As much as you want to kick your seat back and K.O. the whole way, don’t do it! Your driver will be left bored, and sleepy which is a big big no no! Again, remember – your life is in their hands. In the case that both the driver and shotgun drives, then it would be a good idea to alternate if it is a long drive. If you are riding shotgun and you don’t drive, you need to make sure the driver is entertained and awake. When I’m driving and everyone else is asleep, they will have to deal with my loud music or windows down (potentially can be very cold) in order to try and keep myself awake. Honestly, it’s a lot more comfortable for everyone if the shotgun remains awake.
4. You are the DJ.
It can be distracting for the driver to constantly be looking up and down from their phone to change the song that’s playing. Personally, I feel that the driver should be able to listen to whatever they want regardless if the person riding shotgun doesn’t necessarily enjoy it. I used to always put in CDs with Cambodian music (I know – I said CDs!) for my dad even though I did not enjoy listening to it at all. Music helps people stay awake, therefore the driver has the say to choose what type of music that will be played in the car. Although, I would think that if you are going a long road trip with someone or a group of people, they would be a close group of friends who generally likes the same type of music. But yeah, just let the driver jam it out.
5. You are the concierge.
Similarly to being the navigator, you have the additional responsibilities of manning Google and being knowledgeable of where you are. Whether it be finding parking spaces, places to eat around the area, how many miles out the next gas station is etc., you got to be able to give quick answers obviously with the help of our bff Google. If you have a close relationship to the driver, texting and calling for the driver is also key! The last thing you want to happen is your driver searching for all of these things while they are trying to drive.
Will you think twice when calling for shotgun now?
Drive safely, be a responsible shotgun rider.
(P.s. don’t forget to be a slick popo radar.)