Safety Tips For Driving During COVID-19

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Defensive Driving, Traffic School

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact with people, the way we spend our days, and even how we drive our cars. Not only do we need to focus on reducing our chances of getting into a car accident, but we also need to use precaution in order to avoid spreading or catching a deadly disease.

However, there are a few common-sense safe driving tips that are easy to implement that we’re ready to share. Plus, they can give you the peace of mind needed to enjoy your drives.

Read on to learn our top tips on how to stay safe while driving during COVID!

Roll Windows Down

It’s important to drive alone as much as possible. However, if you’re making a living driving passengers to their destinations or you need to drive friends and family, it’s recommended to roll your windows down.

Researchers from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that opening the windows–even just a crack–can help reduce the number of droplets and aerosols floating around the car. If you’re driving with a mask and everyone in the car is wearing a mask as well, this can greatly help reduce the chance of transmission.

If you’ve been living together with regular contact and haven’t loaned the car out to anyone, driving together won’t increase your chances of catching COVID-19. The risk increases as you’re in contact with people that you haven’t been quarantining with.

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Stock-up on Hand Sanitizer

It’s important to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car at all times. This is because you don’t want to risk the chance of touching a door handle or product that’s been touched by someone who’s positive with COVID-19. If you touch your face afterward, you risk the chance of transferring it to yourself.

By keeping hand sanitizer in your car, you can quickly eliminate any chances of catching the disease. If you only have hand sanitizer at home, you risk the chance of forgetting and touching your face before you’ve reached your destination. Sanitize your hands as soon as you get in the car.

Contactless Options

Since you have a car, it’s recommended to use contactless options as much as possible. Opt to use the drive-through for picking up food, medications, and groceries.

Stores such as Target and Walmart are making it even easier than before to shop online and then to drive to a designated parking space when it’s time to pick up. All you need to do is pop open your trunk or back door, and an employee will load up your groceries or other products for you.

You’ll also want to use credit cards or NFC payments through your phone instead of cash. When cash exchanges hands, there’s more risk of passing on the disease without knowing it.

Necessary Journeys

Unfortunately, the threat of the coronavirus pandemic is limiting our activities on a daily basis. When you’re driving anywhere, it’s important to ask yourself whether the drive is necessary. It’s recommended to limit driving for only these purposes:

  • Purchasing food
  • Attending a medical appointment
  • Attending school or college
  • Delivering products for people who can’t drive
  • Commuting for work if you can’t work from home
  • Traveling for exercise

Since you’re driving your car, there isn’t a large threat of catching COVID-19 since you’re in an enclosed area. Instead, these recommendations are because any car accidents that could have been avoided could tie up medical resources that are sorely needed.

Stay Alert

Last but not least, it’s important to stay alert. You may notice that there are fewer cars on the road than you’re used to since many people are working from home or out of a job due to the pandemic. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer.

According to the transportation analytics firm INRIX, the average speed on highways has increased by 75% between January and February of 2020.

Reckless drivers that are speeding pose a huge safety risk because, at speeds of 100 miles per hour, there are far more fatalities during car accidents.

Keep Your Phone Down

Our phones are now one of our biggest distractions when it comes to safe driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives in 2018. You can avoid distracted driving by planning ahead before any of your drives. Here are a few ideas:

  • Enter addresses into your GPS before leaving
  • Learn how to use Siri or Google Assistant
  • Start up a Spotify or Apple Music playlist that you like before leaving
  • Text friends and family about your arrival time before leaving

Texting and driving is even more dangerous. If you have to send a text or make a phone call due to an emergency, consider pulling to the side of the road.

Safe Driving During COVID: Look Out for Yourself

Safe driving during COVID is all about planning ahead and using caution at all times. It’s important that you don’t let the slightly empty roads lull you into a sense of false complacency. Emptier roads and cooped up people means that more people are prone to speeding, leading to fatal accidents.

Furthermore, try to limit the number of passengers in your car. If you have to drive passengers with who you haven’t been quarantining, remember to wear a mask and keep the windows cracked open. Last but not least, keep a large bottle of hand sanitizer in your car.

Ready to become a safer driver through a comprehensive defensive driving course? Test our online defensive driving course for free today!

 

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