During these turbulent times, we are all having to make changes and adjustments to the way we live our lives — and hoping that they will be temporary. This is also true of driving.
Driving in a pandemic, as opposed to during normal times, can have some subtle but important differences that are important to bear in mind. While many people have tried to reduce their driving and travel — especially during lockdown — for many people such as essential workers, parents, and others, certain trips have been necessary and unavoidable.
That’s why we have prepared four simple and important tips below. If you find yourself needing to drive during the COVID-19 pandemic — whether regularly or suddenly — these can be the key things to bear in mind!
If you have sufficient fuel for the journey, consider waiting until another journey to fill up with fuel. Alternatively, if filling up is unavoidable, try to do so only on the way back to your own home. That way, you can wash your hands immediately upon your return, and even change your clothing.
Toilet breaks should be avoided where possible, but if this is necessary (such as when travelling for a long distance, or with children, for example) be sure to wear a suitable mask and gloves, and use hand sanitiser afterwards.
The pandemic could also be a great time to explore apps and options that are contactless or allow you to fill up and pay for fuel on the go, without the need to go in-store or be face to face with a staff member.
TIP 2: Check for Parking Restrictions and Roadworks
Due to the significant disruptions across society in recent times, there have been many sudden changes to roadworks, routes, and parking restrictions. Some areas have now been completely closed off, for example, while in other places it is now permitted to park, when previously it was illegal.
If your journey and circumstances allow, try to check this information in advance. That way, you will not be caught out by a diversion, lack of places to park, or routes being made entirely inaccessible.
TIP 3: Make Your Car a Safe Space
Pandemic conditions can be anxiety-inducing for many, but your car can be a safe and secure space. To achieve this, first ensure that your vehicle maintenance is up-to-date, and that you have a good security system in place.
Emphasise keeping the car clean and sanitary too, to stop the spread of any germs or bacteria, and always carry extra masks, gloves, and hand sanitiser in your car. Many places will not allow someone inside without a mask, so keeping them in your car is always a sensible precaution.
For a quick and convenient solution, keep a disinfectant spray close by that will help with wiping down the many touchpoints in your car both before and after a journey — or when leaving and returning to your car.
These ‘high-use’ areas which make a fertile breeding ground for germs include the steering wheel, gearstick, and seatbelts.
TIP 4: Drive Carefully
It may seem like a simple or obvious tip, but it can be important for drivers to make a special effort to drive carefully during the pandemic. Other road users or pedestrians may be distracted, anxious, or in a rush due to an emergency.
And in the simplest terms, you as a road user may be out of practice! Many drivers have had to severely limit or completely stop their car usage, so getting back behind the wheel can take some adjustment.
To effectively protect yourself and others, try to drive at a safe and moderate speed, be vigilant, and aim to leave yourself plenty of time to complete your journey. Delays of some kind are to be expected during these unusual circumstances.
By using a vigilant approach, putting an emphasis on hygiene, and planning ahead wherever possible, driving in a pandemic can be made a smooth, safe, and positive experience!
Eclipse Autos is Good Garage scheme approved auto workshop based in Bletchley, Milton Keynes. Some of the services Eclipse Autos offer include: car MOTs in Milton Keynes, motorbike MOT tests, car recovery, crash repair, clutch repair and car servicing. This blog post was produced by New Frontiers Marketing.