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7 Ways to Stay Safe When Driving During the Coronavirus Pandemic

7 Ways to Stay Safe When Driving During the Coronavirus Pandemic

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Coronavirus mainly spreads via person to person contact. You may also contract the virus by touching an infected surface or object, then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. Because of the severity of this pandemic and the fact that we’re still learning about this virus, different states have taken drastic measures to curb the further spread.

The primary aspect is to avoid close contact with anybody, and this has led to the imposure of quarantine in different states. In fact, most countries are advocating against interstate travel at the moment. If you have to travel to states like Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey, among others, you’ll have to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving.

If you still wish to travel during this period, here are seven actionable travelling tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Stay Home If You’re Sick

First things first, if you’re sick, it’s vital that you simply stay home. This virus spreads between people just in the same way as the common cold.

Therefore, if you’ve been experiencing any flu-like symptoms, for example, fever, runny nose, cough, and others, be sure to check with your local health center clinicians first. Describe your symptoms to them and be tested for COVID-19.

That’s not enough, still. Even if you test negative, but still feel sickly, consider postponing or even better canceling your travel plans for now. This is because if you’re sick, it means that your immune system is weakened; hence you’re more susceptible to the virus.

2. Visit the Local Government Website First

Governments and institutions are making daily adjustments to deal with this scary virus. Because of this, other new changes could have been put in place and may impact your travels.

To avoid any nasty surprises, be sure to check the state’s official website before departing from where you are. For example, you may not be able to travel to some municipalities in New Jersey, Newark, or nearby towns of Orange, East Orange, and Irvington if the municipalities suspect that your travel is nonessential.

3. Maintain Hygiene Always

The basic rule of thumb is to disinfect surfaces you get in contact with; before, during the journey, and after. This is especially crucial if you offered to give someone a lift or you’re sharing your car.

Here are some of the car’s interior parts that you should regularly disinfect; the steering wheel, door handles, steering column stalks, the door frame, gearstick, elbow rests, handbrake, and seat position control.

If you’re traveling with a person with a disability and use a wheelchair-accessible van, be sure to regularly disinfect the wheelchairs, especially if you need to continually transfer the person to their seat when using the van. Optionally, you may also make new arrangements to get standardized mobility cars with lifts, which will automatically load the wheelchair to the vehicle.

4. Keep Your Hands Clean Throughout

Fortunately enough, the Coronavirus cannot get directly to your bloodstream through your skin. To reduce the chances of contracting it if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth by mistake, ensure that you wash and disinfect your hands regularly.

5. Wear Facemasks

You need at least FFP3 class respirators to get the best level of protection from the Coronavirus. Nevertheless, you should still have at least the non-medical grade masks. While the non-medical grade masks may not protect you from the infection, they will at least prevent you from touching your face.

6. Fill up Safely

It’s highly probable that you’ll have to buy fuel during the journey. Still, you have to maintain hygiene even at the petrol stations. If possible, go for the self-service stations. However, if you’re going to use the regular stations, be sure to maintain distance with the staff.

For payments, it would be better to use the contactless payment methods, for example, payments with your mobile phone or card. If you have to use cash, sanitize them too.

7. Drive Safe

Your overall safety is also crucial. Don’t forget about the necessary road safety standards. Be sure to maintain focus when navigating the intersections, pause and look twice before driving through intersections and stop signs.

We Will Get Through the Coronavirus Pandemic Together

We acknowledge that some of these safety measures are too drastic. Nevertheless, our health comes first. Drugs and vaccines will be made available, but before that, let’s minimize the risks of spreading the infection by observing the important safety guidelines.

Driving Safely During the Pandemic

Driving Safely During the Pandemic

 

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.

4. Sanitize

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.