It’s easy to want to get away during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being cooped up in the house for months is nothing anyone could have been prepared for.
Although leaving the house and gathering in large groups is not recommended, getting some outside time and enjoying the open road in the comfort and isolation of your own vehicle is safe for you and others. Here are some ways to make your trip extra safe so you can reach your destination happy and healthy.
To Mask or Not to Mask?
It is not essential to wear a mask while driving alone in your car, but it is essential to keep yourself and your passengers safe from COVID-19. If you are traveling with someone you have not been in close contact with during quarantine (not recommended), please wear a mask at all times. Social distancing cannot be adhered to in most vehicles, so choose your driving companions wisely. Always wear a mask when exiting your vehicle, whether it’s to get gas, stop for snacks, or stretch your legs. Safety and sanitization are essential for road trips during this time.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Has your commute disappeared due to COVID-19? Are you working from home in perpetuity? It’s ideal to take your vehicle in for a check-up before any road trip, but this visit is even more important when your car has been un-driven for periods of time.
If your vehicle sits for too long, the battery may die, oil can leak and deteriorate, certain parts may rust, or other consequences may occur. Maintaining your vehicle and a car checkup before any travel is a great idea. Be extra prepared if your car breaks down.
Continue Safe Driving Habits
Despite there being potentially fewer cars on the road during COVID-19, keep in mind that many people who are working from home have not driven regularly, so they could be a bit rusty when heading out on the road. Brush up on defensive driving strategies, driving in emergency situations, and while you’re at it, brush up on “right of way” etiquette.
Beware of Impaired Drivers and Don’t Be One
Alcohol- and marijuana-related crashes have risen in some cities and decreased in others. But you can never be too careful. You put everyone on the road at risk when you engage in impaired driving. Even if you are responsible on the road, others may not be.
Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
Your hands touch everything including faucets, food, clothing, other people, and of course, your steering wheel. Did you know that steering wheels hold four times as much bacteria as toilet seats? Always make sure to keep sanitizing wipes in your car. If you exit your vehicle to pump gas or run into a convenience store, it is paramount you use the wipes before and after each action on your steering wheel, clutch, and cup holders. W