Motoring, like every other aspect of our lives, needs a “new normal” now that COVID-19 has made its presence felt. As a driver – particularly when making use of rental vehicles – you need to take strict precautions to prevent infection in the close confines of a vehicle.
The pandemic has made it necessary for us to carry certain essential items wherever you go. This applies to driving too. Along with your spare tire, tire iron, jack and warning reflective warning triangle, there are some additional things that you have to have with you to ensure safety during this pandemic. These include disposable gloves, hand sanitiser, disinfectant cleaner in a spray bottle, as well as wipes. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a few spare masks in the car with you.
Handwashing is the fundamental recommendation that all health authorities are making with regards to keeping the virus at bay. Aside from washing your hands before you get into the car and after you get out of it, you should also sanitise your hands while you’re in the car. Keep a small bottle of alcohol-based sanitiser for that purpose.
If you are carrying passengers in your vehicle, there are very strict rules you need to follow. As a general rule, you should have about half as many people as your vehicle is actually built to carry. So if you are driving a sedan that can carry four to five people, there really shouldn’t be any more than two people in the car – yourself and one passenger. Moreover, the passenger shouldn’t be in the passenger seat but rather in the backseat. Both of you should wear masks.
Every so often – say whenever you get into the car or get out of it – you should take your disinfectant spray or your wipes and clean the main touchpoints in the car – the steering wheel, the handbrake and gear lever, the various switches on your instrument panel.
Car rental companies are required to take very strict measures to ensure that your rented car is sanitary and safe when you receive it. For your own safety and peace-of-mind, it’s worth double-checking and doing a bit of cleaning yourself before you start up the motor. Sanitise the touchpoints, your hands, and the key before hitting the road.