Drive for a living? While many people are staying home to help battle the current COVID-19 pandemic, you might be one of those people who have no choice but to hop in a car, van or lorry and keep working.
If you’re worried about any potential risks, there’s a fair bit you can do to keep yourself, and anyone else you come into contact with, protected from coronavirus. Here’s our fail-safe guide to staying happy and healthy when you regularly hit the road for a living:
First things first, is your trip really essential?
Currently, the government coronavirus rules state that only essential work should be carried out beyond the limits of your home. Unsure if your job makes you exempt from this rule? According to the government, you should only be driving around if you are:
– Providing goods or services to protect public health.
– Providing medical treatment, such as for the NHS, emergency services or as a care worker.
– Meeting your or other peoples’ need for basic day-to-day living.
Many jobs which involve plenty of driving tend to come under the last category, such as delivery drivers, freight drivers, plumbers or engineers.
Got symptoms? Stay home!
Before you even step out of your front door, give yourself a quick health check over in your head. Do you have any potential niggles or aches which could be coronavirus symptoms? Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive within the last 10 days?
If the answer is yes to either of these, turn around and put your feet up. You won’t be going anywhere soon. Of course, if you do suspect you could have COVID, get tested and let the NHS Track and Trace team know.
Unleash your inner neat freak
Now you’ve established that your driving role is essential, you’ll want to start your day off by giving your vehicle a good old clean. This is especially important if you don’t tend to drive the same van every single day.
Give anything you’d normally touch inside the cab or near the driver’s seat a wipe down with disinfectant spray and a cloth. Hotspots include the steering wheel, the gear stick, the door handle and any buttons on the dashboard. This should help eliminate any bacteria which might be lurking around.
Drive your own vehicle? It’s still a good idea to give it a scrub down regularly just in case you’ve unknowingly been harbouring coronavirus germs.
Don’t forget the outside of your vehicle, either!
Cleaning shouldn’t just stop at the inside of your vehicle. It’s also crucial that you wipe down any surfaces on the outside that are likely to be touched by yourself or others. This includes any handles, doors and wing mirrors.
Keep your distance from anyone and everyone
When you’re out and about on a job, it’s vitally important that you keep your distance from others. This won’t just protect you from catching coronavirus, but it’ll also prevent you from spreading it if you’re asymptomatic.
Stay at least two metres from anyone not in your household or bubble, and definitely don’t shake hands or hug. If you do need to speak to others, wear a face mask. Going in and out of people’s homes or businesses? Popping on a pair of gloves won’t hurt, either.
Delivering something? Call ahead
If your driving role involves you delivering goods or services directly into people’s homes, it’s a good idea to ring ahead. That way, you can check whether they’re isolating or not and determine if it’s a good idea to go into their house or (if applicable) simply drop something off at the door.
Plan, plan, plan
No matter how far you’ve got to travel, make sure you plan out your route in advance. This will stop you from being held up due to traffic, roadworks or any other diversions. The shorter period of time you spend out of your home, the better.
If your driving job requires you to cross over borders, whether that’s within the UK or EU, make sure you’ve got the right paperwork to hand and can provide a negative COVID-19 test if asked.
Go full circle
Job coming to an end? Go back to the beginning of the day and repeat that cleaning regime! You could have picked up all sorts of germs over the course of your journey, whether that’s from colleagues or at places such as service stations.
To prevent spreading anything to others, give everything another thorough clean down. Make sure you’re using an anti-bacterial cleaner which will kill any nasties, not just wipe them around.
Keen to discover more ways to make driving easier if it’s a major part of your job? Check out our guide to staying healthy on the road or get to grips with the current safe driving duration times in both the UK and Europe.