Our world is going through a tough time right now. This Coronavirus pandemic has levied restrictions as we have never anticipated. Although most of us are observing CDC and WHO guidelines, there are times that we have to leave our homes. Regardless of the reason for your travel is to pick up food or medicine or if you are an essential worker that has to commute to your workplace, driving during this time presents some new challenges.
1. Minimize Travel
Decide what errands are actually essential during the pandemic. And look at other ways to complete tasks that you would normally drive to. For example, instead of going to the supermarket to purchase groceries, consider shopping online and picking up in the parking lot or having them delivered. And consider one-stop shopping. Maybe a supermarket that also can fill your prescription or one that offers postal service within the store. If you are an essential worker, do your errands on the way to or from work. If you must run an errand, call your neighbors and ask if they need anything picked up to avoid additional exposure.
2. Minimize Passengers
Buying groceries does not have to be a family affair. Fewer people equate to less exposure, as well as less distraction. If you must rideshare, take precautions to sanitize the vehicle before and after the riders get in and out.
3. Carefully Follow Traffic Laws
Just because there are fewer cars on the road, does not mean that you should relax your focus or ignore traffic laws. With first responders working harder than ever, a traffic accident would put additional strain on an already overloaded work force. Hospitals in many cities are full and it might be difficult to receive treatment. Make sure that you treat intersections with special attention, looking for vehicles, pedestrians, or wheelchair occupants.
Keep the sanitizing wipes and gel in the vehicle at all times. It’s a great idea to wear gloves when you stop at a gas station or shop, but if you don’t take them off before getting back into your car, you are bringing any exposure with you. Clean all surfaces, including the dash, inside windows, and headrests. Keep a bag for gloves, tissues, etc. in your car and dispose of it each time you get out of the car. If you have passengers, ask that they use sanitizer and follow the same precautions that you do.
5. Know the State Laws
If it is necessary to travel between counties or states, do a little research before you leave home. Many counties and certainly many states, have their own orders and laws in the way they are handling transportation during the pandemic. There may be road closures, detours, or mandatory quarantine for someone coming from across state lines.
6. Limit Distractions
As previously mentioned, limiting passengers will cut down on the amount of distractions. In addition, limit the use of your phone, radio, or any video equipment while driving. Certainly, no texting!
7. Make a List
Or make several lists. By listing the errands you must run, you can optimize the time spent traveling in your car. By listing what essentials you need from the store, you can fulfill your list quickly and limit exposure. And by planning a menu for the upcoming week, you can minimize the number of times you have to travel.
Learn More About Driving Safely During the Pandemic
Someday soon, our lives will get back to normal. Or maybe we will have a new normal. Regardless of our future, planning, caution, and focus will continue to have us travel safely.