Top 10 Tips For Keeping Your Car COVID Free< Back to blog
Are you keen to keep your car COVID free during the coronavirus pandemic? Follow our simple 10 tips to minimising the risk of infection whilst using your car.
We all long for the days when we can go and see our family again, or sit in the pub with our friends. But the important thing is that you come through this difficult period safe and healthy, and keeping your car safe from exposure to the virus can play a big part in doing that.
We have compiled a list of 10 tips for you to follow to minimise any risk of exposure to COVID.
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1. Clean key touchpoints regularly
This is the obvious, and possibly the most important. Some studies indicate that the COVID 19 virus can live on surfaces for as long as 4 days. Below is a list of materials likely found in your car, and how long the virus is considered to survive on those surfaces;
- Cloth (car seats) – Up to two days
- Stainless steel (exterior door handles, seatbelt buckle) – Up to three days
- Plastic (dashboard, steering wheel, door handles, and many more) – Up to three days
- Glass (mirrors, car windows) – Up to four days
It is then key to keep these touchpoints clean and disinfect them before and after every journey if possible. This may seem excessive but every time you use your car you are potentially exposing these touchpoints to the virus and it is worth going through the simple task of cleaning them regularly.
2. Wash/sanitise your hands before and after every journey
A really easy habit that will reduce the risk of carrying the virus into your vehicle is washing your hands before and after you get in or out of the car. The number of surfaces you will have touched between cleaning your hands and getting in the car will therefore be drastically reduced. Reducing the chance of any possible contamination.
3. Wear a mask
You are probably tired of hearing this by now, but wearing a mask reduces the risk of you contaminating any surfaces you face during your journey. Talking, coughing, and even breathing can all project droplets onto nearby surfaces, and wearing a mask practically nullifies that possibility. So if there is any trace of COVID 19 in your system, the spread of it via those droplets is reduced.
4. Keep the windows down while travelling
Now, we don’t expect you to keep the windows down during your frosty 7:30am commute to work in -1° temperatures. But if it’s possible during warmer climates to have your window(s) down, then this will help reduce the risk of transmission. A constant airflow will keep the car well ventilated and increase the likelihood of infectious droplets being swept out of the car.
5. Keep hand sanitiser and wipes in your car at all times
Another very simple tip that will reduce the risk of transmission in and out of your car. Keeping a bottle of hand sanitiser and some disinfectant wipes in the car will be useful for cleaning your hands and other surfaces in the car. As well as using them before and after each journey, they can be useful for cleaning hands or surfaces after you have coughed or sneezed.
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6. Limit the number of passengers in your car
The risk of transmission between people during a journey is lessened if you travel in the car alone. And ideally, the only passengers in your car should be members of your household. However, sometimes car sharing may be the only viable option for essential travel such as work (if you can’t do this from home).
If that is the case, then there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of transmission:
- Ensure driver and passengers wear a mask
- Sit as far apart as possible (i.e. sit in the back if there is only two of you)
- Keep the windows open if possible
- Avoiding facing each other
- Avoid any contact
7. Limit your ‘car-aoke’ sessions
This is the hard one. Under normal circumstances we are strong advocates of releasing your inner Beyoncé. However, singing is one easy way of projecting spit droplets all over the place (gross, we know).
But hear us out. If you’re travelling with somebody else we strongly advise restraining from singing until your heart’s content. However, if you’re travelling alone and absolutely have to put on a show, maybe tone it down to Ed Sheeran at the local university, and less Stormzy at the O2, for now.
8. Avoid touching lots of surfaces outside of your car
Another way of minimising the risk of bringing the virus into your car is to limit the number of surfaces you touch outside of your car. Whether you’re nipping into the shop or visiting the doctor, the virus may be living on nearby surfaces. Therefore refraining from touching these surfaces will mean you’re less likely to carry germs in to the car.
9. Walk or cycle where possible
One sure way to keep your car COVID free is by occasionally not using it at all. We know this might not be a viable option for a lot of people, but choosing to walk or cycle to the local supermarket or a nearby park will undoubtedly prevent your car from becoming contaminated.
Not only will walking or cycling reduce the risk of spreading the virus via your car, but it also increases your exercise uptake, while positively contributing to a greener environment.
10. Wear gloves when filling up
If you’re continuing to use your car regularly, filling the tank with fuel is likely to be a regular job. With likely hundreds of other road users handling the fuel pumps every day, the risk of transmission is quite high. Minimising this risk almost completely can be easily done by simply wearing disposable gloves. Some petrol stations do provide them at their pumps but we recommend keeping some in your car to avoid being caught without.
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