As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, many companies are moving to remote work and many people are finding themselves staying inside to help stop the spread of the virus. However, for some, whether due to work or other circumstances, venturing outside is still a necessity, as is using a vehicle on a daily basis. This is especially true of industries like trucking, where drivers continue to play a vital role in keeping commerce alive and shelves stocked with essentials.
If you will be continuing to drive throughout this crisis, there are lots of ways that you can protect yourself and others from the virus.
Clean & Disinfect Hot Spots
What we're referring to here as the 'hot spots' in your vehicle are any areas that are touched frequently. Some, like the steering wheel or the radio control knobs, are more obvious than others, but it's important to identify any and all places in your vehicle that are frequently touched. These will likely include the gear shift, the rearview mirrors, seatbelts, cup holders, A/C and heat controls, door handles (both interior and exterior), and keys. Other areas that can collect germs (and which you may not immediately consider) include A/C vents and floor mats. Hot spots should be cleaned and disinfected daily, or even better, each time you get in or out of your vehicle.
Keep Supplies on Hand
In order to clean the hot spot areas of your car, you should keep some cleaning agents and disinfectant in the vehicle. This will enable you to quickly clean high-traffic surfaces on a regular basis. However, it's important to keep some other essentials in your vehicle, too. Tissues, hand sanitizer, and sanitary wipes are all great things to have on hand (and a great way to clean your hands, too). Even if no one else rides in your vehicle, when you leave your cab you come into contact with other people and whatever germs they may be carrying. Every time you get out of your vehicle during a trip, whether to grab a coffee or make a delivery, you should sanitize your hands once you've returned to your car.
One of the best things you can do during this time is be intentional and proactive with your actions. This means considering how everything you do, in every facet of your life, can help contribute to a safer environment. Washing your hands regularly is often trumpeted by safety professionals, but its importance cannot be understated. Experts believe that the virus can live on surfaces for several days, if not longer. While driving, if you're doing it alone, is its own kind of self-isolating, once you're around others, you can still practice social distancing as much as possible, which means leaving space between you and others. Every little bit counts, and consciously taking every step you can to limit the spread of coronavirus will go a long way towards keeping you and others healthy.