I agreed to go somewhere with a friend and he drove. I had never been in his car before, and it turns out he was a really crazy, aggressive driver. It made me nauseous and fearful that we might get into an accident.

What is a tactful way to refuse a ride home without offending the driver?

I considered:

  • Uber: Hard to come up with a reason to take Uber since it would have been expensive and we live near each other so it's hard to say that taking me home would be inconvenient for him
  • Public Transportation: Cheap but hard to come up with a reason since it would take WAY longer to get home that way
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this really sounds like a phrasing request to avoid a one-time trip with this person. If you're for a more long-term means of not having this person drive, that would be more of an IPS question. Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 21:27
  • 4
    I don't understand. I think it's way easier to avoid having the person drive long-term. If I have my own transportation on the way there, there's no expectation to go home in his car. It's much more difficult to have to deal with this one-time situation due to being "stranded" with that driver. Never again will I take a ride with this friend, so never again will I be stranded with him. But it's only one-time with this particular friend--it could happen again with another friend, I don't know how all of my friends and future friends drive.
    – superstar
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 21:37

3 Answers 3


In this situation, I always remember what my old man used to say:

I'd rather be 5mn late in this life than 50 years too early in the other...

Now, as someone who's teaching driving and safety on the road, I've heard almost all of the bad excuses... And what comes first, most of the time, is along the line of: I'm a good driver, the problem comes from the others who can't drive properly. Well...

When it comes to YOUR life, no argument is worth trying IMHO. So, I would be honest. Being able to tell the raw truth is a good IPSkill. And if it's done without hurting, it becomes a great IPSkill. I'd tell him that you feel uncomfortable when he's driving. But, in order to dodge the bullet, just in case that it bounces back, I'd insist on the fact that, even if he drives at his best, neither of you can predict if another driver makes a huge mistake. And you'd rather not put your life in a stranger's hands.

This is a way to slighly deflect, and put the burden on a third-party's shoulder.

I've always explained this to my students, and often had great feedback.

Drive safely and share the road :)


Before anything if you are stuck in a car where the driver is driving dangerously and won't listen to telling them to drive safer, my dad always told me to say "Dude, I am about to puke, pull over" because no one wants puke in their car. After you're out tell them what the deal is and get another ride.

In this case some excuses might be:

  • So and so is coming to pick me up
  • Be the driver next time

What is a tactful way to refuse a ride home

Opting out of a car ride is a very common occurrence. You don't need an especially tactful way to inform him, just don't a jerk about it.

"Dude, I'm all good getting home, so don't worry about me."

Hard to come up with a reason

This is the real problem. Ideally, he'll just let it go so no problem to begin with. If he presses for a reason, you have two realistic options.

  1. If you're close enough that you can sort of make fun of him, you can just tell him he's a crazy driver and you get car sick.
  2. Use the Interpersonal Skill of deflection. Any plausible reason to get home on you own should work. "I want to spend some more time with this girl/guy." "I want to pass by [some slightly inconvenient location] and don't know how long that'll take." "I'm leaving early, have fun!"

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.