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Author Topic: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?  (Read 1622 times)

webny99

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Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« on: March 03, 2018, 12:24:24 AM »

On a road trip, which do you prefer, to drive, or to be a passenger?

I've discussed my own position more extensively in other threads (in fact, that's my inspiration for this thread). I certainly enjoy driving, but I tend to plan, predict, and strategize excessively when I'm behind the wheel. Because of this, I find I pay much more attention to physical details such as signage, signals, and traffic control/flow as a passenger. I'm more intuitive as a driver and more observant as a passenger.

jwolfer

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2018, 12:27:59 AM »

On a road trip, which do you prefer, to drive, or to be a passenger?

I've discussed my own position more extensively in other threads (in fact, that's my inspiration for this thread). I certainly enjoy driving, but I tend to plan, predict, and strategize excessively when I'm behind the wheel. Because of this, I find I pay much more attention to physical details such as signage, signals, and traffic control/flow as a passenger. I'm more intuitive as a driver and more observant as a passenger.
You get to see more as a passenger for sure.. as a driver you have to drive..pay attention to traffic etc. But as a passenger you have less control over routing, changes in plans, stops etc

Ideal is being able to switch position and have another traveling companion who likes the "getting there" as much as you

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MNHighwayMan

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 12:32:48 AM »

Driver, for sure, for the reason I mentioned in the "Irrational Fears" thread. I don't really seem to have a problem paying attention to "the roadgeek details" even while driving, so, for me, being a passenger is a bit of a downgrade, actually.
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vdeane

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 05:08:21 PM »

I generally but not always prefer driving.  The main exceptions are roadmeets (other than my own, though I've ended up as a passenger for many of the meets I've hosted as well) and meetings/conferences in Syracuse (I see the Rochester-Albany section of Thruway too much as it is and am more than happy to not have to worry about it).

Driver, for sure, for the reason I mentioned in the "Irrational Fears" thread. I don't really seem to have a problem paying attention to "the roadgeek details" even while driving, so, for me, being a passenger is a bit of a downgrade, actually.
Same here.  What does happen, however, is that my mind actually quiets down so it can focus on the road.  Most of the time I'm daydreaming or in intense thought over something else.  Driving is about the only time I'm not.
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cu2010

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2018, 05:51:39 PM »

I hate driving.

I hate being a passenger even more.

I'd much rather be in control as opposed to trusting someone behind the wheel of a car I'm in to not kill me.
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1995hoo

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2018, 06:49:50 PM »

Driver, unless I drink too much or I feel lousy (fatigue, illness, etc.).

I don't like riding as a passenger when my wife drives because I find it nerve-wracking when she doesn't signal, changes lanes erratically, etc.
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corco

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2018, 07:47:44 PM »

I greatly enjoy driving - especially when I'm the only one in the car and I can open it up and drive a little bit more crazily. When I'm with somebody on a long trip, I like to drive but am happy to let the other person drive too if they want. If we're just driving around town, I don't really care who drives.

webny99

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 08:19:19 PM »

I greatly enjoy driving - especially when I'm the only one in the car and I can open it up and drive a little bit more crazily.

Couldn't agree more.
It's amazing how different of a driver I am when I'm alone vs when I'm with family/friends.

Revive 755

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2018, 09:17:08 PM »

On a road trip, which do you prefer, to drive, or to be a passenger?

For me it depends on a number of issues:

1) How much I trust the driver
2) Scenery along the trip - for certain areas such as I-40 between I-81 and I-26, I prefer being the passenger.  Being the passenger works better for areas where items of interest require long glances to the sides of the road to see.
3) How many pictures I want to take - being the passenger works better for this
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hbelkins

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2018, 09:24:20 PM »

I've found it easier to take photos as a driver than as a passenger, so driver if I'm on a trip.

Unless it's somewhere I've been a zillion times before and want to nap. Then, definitely passenger.
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US71

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2018, 09:33:36 PM »

Driver. If I want to detour off the main road, I can.
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webny99

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2018, 09:48:35 PM »

I've found it easier to take photos as a driver than as a passenger, so driver if I'm on a trip.

Care to expound on that?
It seems to me that photography is much easier from the passenger seat, as there's no multi-tasking required.

Back seats are terrible for getting good photos, but even then, the actual execution of taking a photo would be easier than it would be for the driver.

corco

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2018, 10:18:35 PM »

I've found it easier to take photos as a driver than as a passenger, so driver if I'm on a trip.

Care to expound on that?
It seems to me that photography is much easier from the passenger seat, as there's no multi-tasking required.

Back seats are terrible for getting good photos, but even then, the actual execution of taking a photo would be easier than it would be for the driver.

I'm not HB but agree with him - if you're driving, you can ensure that you're in the proper lane/going the right speed/etc to get a good picture. Driving and taking a picture is barely multitasking - with a little bit of practice, it's no more mentally or physically intense than adjusting the radio volume. The other difference between driving and taking a picture vs. driving and texting is that you're actually concentrating on driving in order to take the picture, whereas when you drive and text they're two completely separate tasks.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2018, 10:19:37 PM »

Driver, being a passenger generally is boring as all hell to me.  Other drivers generally stick to main highways which makes an already boring experience even more boring.  I can't take road pictures all that well from the passenger seat nor do I have control of pulling over to see something.  Most importantly I really enjoy driving, especially when there is a cool road that is challenging or scenic.

slorydn1

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2018, 08:32:05 AM »

Driver. I can't be a passenger for very long before I begin to experience motion sickness. I do find this odd, because I didn't have that problem as a child during all the long road trips my dad took us on. I have found myself letting my wife drive the short to the store and back type errands but that's about as far as I can go.

+1 to 1995hoo, though my wife's problem isn't lane changes. Her problem is that she likes to get so close to the car in front that I can read that car's gauges. I keep stomping on an imaginary brake pedal the entire time.
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Rothman

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2018, 12:00:01 PM »

Drive.  Wife doesn't use cruise control and can daydream, causing her to slow way down.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2018, 12:16:32 PM »

Definitely driver because I get to control the music :D
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hbelkins

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2018, 02:22:39 PM »

I've found it easier to take photos as a driver than as a passenger, so driver if I'm on a trip.

Care to expound on that?
It seems to me that photography is much easier from the passenger seat, as there's no multi-tasking required.

I've found that the angles for photography are better from the driver's side. Plus, the driver's side wiper covers more area, meaning that the windshield will be cleaner.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2018, 02:51:52 PM »

My wife doesn't drive so I have no choices to make...

OTOH I will always choose to drive if given the option...
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2018, 03:41:36 PM »

I much prefer driving to riding as a passenger as well.

I also don't find using a camera from the drivers seat to be very distracting either.  And as others have said above, I like being able to position myself in traffic to take my photos.  Something that I think helps me, is that the zoom on my camera doesn't retract every time I power off the camera.  The barrel of my zoom lens is pretty stiff, so when I turn the camera off and place it in my lap when not in use the zoom stays put, and the camera is instantaneously ready when I power it back on to take the next shot.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 06:29:48 PM by AsphaltPlanet »
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ZLoth

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2018, 04:52:21 PM »

Driver. It's a control thing.
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Michael

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2018, 05:17:20 PM »

I don't really have a preference, and I would say I'm the same as webny99 in the OP:
I certainly enjoy driving, but I tend to plan, predict, and strategize excessively when I'm behind the wheel. Because of this, I find I pay much more attention to physical details such as signage, signals, and traffic control/flow as a passenger. I'm more intuitive as a driver and more observant as a passenger.

As a driver, you can't look at the details too much because you're paying attention to your driving.  Being a roadgeek passenger in a car driven by a friend who understands you means that you can still be adventurous as a passenger.

Regarding taking photos while driving, I don't do it.  I tried to take a photo of the northern end of NY 90 once and I felt uncomfortable doing it even at 10-15 MPH with no one else around.

I think that being a roadgeek can make someone a better driver.  For me, I can predict when a light will change and adjust my speed accordingly.  Why stomp on the gas just to get a red light?  Or, if you know two lights aren't synced (here's an example here in Auburn, you're almost guaranteed to have to stop at the second one), you can step a bit harder on the gas to get both green lights.  If there's a traffic backup, you can go around it if you know multiple routes.  On freeways, if you know the lane layout, you can get in the correct lane early to avoid last minute lane changes.
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webny99

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2018, 06:27:20 PM »

I'm not HB but agree with him - if you're driving, you can ensure that you're in the proper lane/going the right speed/etc to get a good picture. Driving and taking a picture is barely multitasking - with a little bit of practice, it's no more mentally or physically intense than adjusting the radio volume. The other difference between driving and taking a picture vs. driving and texting is that you're actually concentrating on driving in order to take the picture, whereas when you drive and text they're two completely separate tasks.

Looks like I have some work to do to reach that level :wow:

I've found that the angles for photography are better from the driver's side. Plus, the driver's side wiper covers more area, meaning that the windshield will be cleaner.

All of the above points are understandable, but I still don't think any of that makes taking pictures while driving easier than from other positions. Easier to manipulate the situation for better results, sure, but not easier to execute the actual taking of the photo.



I'm surprised at all the dislike for being a passenger. I thought I was the biggest control freak out there  :-D

With that said, the other thing I do like about driving, while I pay less attention to details, it does force me to stay awake. I've fallen asleep as a passenger at times when I was seeing a major road for the first time (such as I-95 through CT and I-79 through WV), and I will never forgive myself :banghead:
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 06:29:22 PM by webny99 »
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vdeane

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2018, 07:25:53 PM »

Regarding pictures, they do take practice.  The secret to taking pictures while driving is to figure out what works (camera mode, zoom level, position of the camera, and when to take it relative to the sign) and those things take practice.  You'll have a lot of bad photos when you're learning.  It will take time.  But eventually you get there.  Note that those of us who do take pictures while driving use the viewfinder only a little if at all.  We don't spend lots of time staring at it to frame a shot.

And yes, a REAL camera is a must.  Not a phone camera.  Phone cameras don't deal with motion very well and require more concentration.  Depending on how it's configured it may not even be possible to use with one hand (default is to take a picture by tapping on the screen).  They don't have real zoom controls either, just poor quality digital zoom.  Phone cameras also don't really have physical controls - to engage then, you HAVE to look at the screen.  A real camera can be manipulated without looking at it at all, from memory.  Many digital cameras also have an anti-blur mode that can smooth out the bumps.

Speaking of bumps, those are easier to anticipate while driving, for the same reason a driver is less likely to get motion sickness than a passenger.  A driver is in control of the car, which means the brain can better anticipate what the motion of the car is going to be.
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Thing 342

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Re: Which do you prefer - Driver or Passenger?
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2018, 07:43:14 PM »

I prefer to be a passenger, mostly because I can't manipulate my DSLR with one hand. However, I have gotten better with taking photos using my phone (a Pixel 2 XL) behind the wheel:


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