With the coronavirus pandemic continuing its brutal rampage, it is advisable to reduce driving these days. However, it would be difficult to avoid essential travel. Here is a lowdown on what all you need to know in such a situation.
Using someone else's car
If possible, use your own car. What if you are using someone else's car? You would be using the steering wheel, gear knob, door handle, power window buttons and hand brake the most. It is advisable to disinfect them before using the vehicle. Professional drivers opt for gloves in order to get better grip. Using gloves would be a good option if you are driving someone else's car.
What about providing lift? Only let people known to you inside the car; you should also know their recent travel history. In case you need to offer an unknown person a lift, switch off the air conditioner. In most cars, the AC would be in the re-circulate mode where the car's air conditioning system recirculates the air inside the car for cooling, instead of using air intake from the outside.
The recirculate mode will help spread the infection fast. So, use the fresh air mode, which brings in outside air into the car by opening an air duct in the front of the vehicle. This is not a fool proof way, but the fresh air mode is comparatively safer than the recirculate mode. This is perhaps the only way to reduce the chance of catching infection when the air conditioner is on. However, switching off the air conditioner and pulling gown the window glasses is a much better option. You are much more safer when the windows are open than being inside a closed cabin.
Do not forget to add hand sanitiser bottles to the first aid kit in the car. Instead of the standard tissue paper, keep wet wipes. Taxi drivers may not get time to focus on these aspects, so they should use N95 respirators. Before letting passengers in, offer them hand sanitiser. Small bottles of hand sanitisers can be kept in the door pockets for the passengers in the back seat.
Keep a tidy piece of cloth in the car to clean the steering wheel, gear knob, seat height adjustment lever, hand brake, door pad, power window buttons on the door pad, other switches, and seat belt buckle. Use the sanitizer to disinfect these areas and then wipe off with the cloth. Special care is needed for the steering wheel and the gear knob.
The hand rails or bars that are used by everyone are the only option to hold on to inside a bus. Make sure that you clean your hands using a sanitiser before you get into a bus and after you alight. Besides, you need to maintain basic hygiene practices. You can keep a small hand sanitizer bottle in the bottle holder of your bag. You can use it without the need to take it out of the holder. These days, maintaining personal hygiene habits during travel is not only a duty but a courtesy to society.