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Staying Safe as a Driver During COVID-19

Now that face masks are mandatory in most public spaces and lockdown has started to ease, you might find yourself taking more regular journeys in your car. Whether it’s returning to the daily commute to work or visiting shops that are now starting to reopen, you might be wondering how to stay safe as a driver during a pandemic. As we are living in a time of uncertainty many questions arise, here are a few helpful tips to staying safe as a driver.

Do I have to wear a face mask in my car?

Wearing a mask in your car all depends on what you feel comfortable with. However if you have passengers in your car that are not from your household you must all wear a mask at all times inside the vehicle to reduce the chances of infection. It’s also important to have the contact details of all passengers in case you suddenly fall ill or are tested positive for the virus.

Can I keep face masks in my car?

Yes, you can keep face masks in your car, in fact it’s ideal in situations where you forget or lose your mask. If you are using disposable masks you can keep these in the car and throw them away after use, however if you’re using a reusable mask, they need to be washed and disinfected after each use. You can keep spare masks in a ziplock bag or first aid kit in your glove compartment to keep them sanitary.

If you also keep hand sanitiser in your car, make sure to remove it in hot temperatures as the heat can cause the bottle to rupture from built up pressure. It can also lose its germ killing ability as heat evaporates alcohol.

How do I disinfect my car?

It’s important to disinfect your vehicle especially if you’ve travelled with passengers from different households. The below areas are the main points of the car you should focus on disinfecting before and after a journey as they are regular ‘touch’ points.

  • Steering Wheel & Column Stalks
  • Gear Stick
  • Handbrake
  • Radio Controls
  • Heating & Air Conditioning System
  • Elbow Rests
  • Seats & Seat Belts
  • Interior and Exterior of Door Handles & Frame
  • Luggage Compartment Handle

You can use cleaning products you already have at home which have a 70% alcohol solution. Alternatively you can use isopropyl alcohol with a microfibre cloth to disinfect these areas, use a light hand on upholstery to avoid any discolouration from excessive scrubbing on leather or imitation leather. Be sure to use a leather protection product after cleaning to help maintain the colour.

How do I buy fuel safely?

As you begin to take more journeys, evidently you will need to buy more fuel. If possible use contactless pay at pump methods, however if you need to go inside the store try to minimise your contact with staff and keep a 2 metre distance from the public. You will usually find gloves by the pump which you can wear when filling up, make sure to throw them away after use in the nearest bin. You must also wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitiser after use.

During this time it can help to reduce the amount of journeys you take, drive alone where possible, wear a face mask in public places, continuously disinfect contact areas and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to help reduce the risk of infection and spread of the virus.

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