Riding “Shotgun” Correctly

Blog post description.

9/14/20231 min read

“Riding Shotgun” is a term that almost everyone uses when riding in a car, but it is truly amazing the number of people who can’t explain what it means and why it is so very important.

The term originates from the “Old West” when the primary mode of mass transportation was the stagecoach. The driver of a stagecoach was busy “Steering” the horses and coach to minimize the effect on the coach from needlessly driving over big rocks and such. That left him unable to defend the stagecoach from bandits or he lost control of the coach.

The idea to add an additional person on the top of the stagecoach armed with a shotgun, or “scatter-gun” as it was called in those days, provided a significant improvement on passenger and coach safety from robbery.

When cars started to become the primary mode of transportation the job of “safety person” for the car’s passengers and driver was enhanced by having the person in the front (not the driver) act as an extra set of “eyes” for everyone’s overall safety during a trip.

If you are going to call for the “Shotgun” position in a car, please understand that it is very important for everyone’s safety, including your own, to be actively aware of your surroundings and help the driver stay safe.

When you look at the picture below, ask yourself “Who is riding Shotgun”? The answer you should arrive at is no one!