Advertisement

'The advice around what we should do before, during and after we drive our cars is less than clear'

Only essential driving during the Coronavirus lockdown is allowed, but what we need to do before, during and after our journey isn't as clear, says Mike Rutherford

Tempted to climb into your car and drive, solely for pleasure? Don’t. Our lawmakers have told you not to. Now’s not the time to pick a fight with them.

That said, in lockdown Britain, car driving isn’t banned. Some workers deemed ‘critical’ or ‘essential’ remain behind the wheel for commuting. The same goes for millions driving to supermarkets and pharmacies, relatives giving loved ones lifts to health centres, or the thousands of car-owning volunteers who have formally signed up to help fellow citizens with their shopping and prescriptions.

Deep down, we know the difference between non-essential (ie prohibited) motoring for fun, and essential (permitted) driving for more serious reasons. But less clear-cut is what we should now be doing before, during and after spells behind the wheel. With this in mind, here’s an abbreviated version of my ‘To Do & What Not To Do’ list for drivers during the current national health crisis. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Need drinks and snacks for the journey? Raid your kitchen before setting off – thereby avoiding roadside takeaways with queuing customers. But, before exiting your home and entering the vehicle, visit your loo, wash your hands thoroughly, then keep a hand sanitiser in the vehicle. Alternatively, a flask of hot water, liquid soap and paper towels. 

If it’s a supermarket you’re visiting, ask a worker what days and times attract least shoppers – then aim for those slots next time you shop. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

If your car has voice control, use it – thereby touching as few controls as possible. 

Do not assume that parking, tolls, congestion and low-emission charges and fines have been suspended; only some have. The entrepreneurial spirits at parking firms and local councils will usually prevail – even in times of national crisis.

Just because roads are comparatively empty, laws must still be respected. The trucker I spotted sleeping in his cab the other night when parked in a narrow one-way high street with wheels on the pavement and facing the wrong way should be ashamed.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Protect yourself and others – especially health professionals – by not shaking hands. 

Before travelling, ask yourself if you’ll reduce infection risk by A) travelling alone by car, or B) using packed public transport? Answer: A, of course.

Weather permitting, drive with windows slightly open. Ventilation is good.  

Create extra space by asking your passenger to occupy a rear seat. If your vehicle has three rows, ask that they sit in the third one, if they’re physically able to.   

Never touch fuel pumps, credit card keypads, public loo and other door handles with bare hands. Yuk! Run out of disposal gloves? Try using a clean plastic bag. Also, some doors open/close with a nudge from protected feet and elbows, rather than unprotected hands. 

Choose your cleaning products carefully, then give the interior of your car, plus its door handles, a quick scrub down before and after every trip. Think IPCE – Infection Prevention, Control, Elimination. Good luck. Safe travels. Look after yourself... and them.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Coronavirus: what does it mean for cars and motorists?
News

Coronavirus: what does it mean for cars and motorists?

The global Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on life in the UK. Here’s everything you need to know about how it affects cars, motorists and the…
27 May 2020
Car insurance claims spike as rusty drivers return to roads
Car insurance

Car insurance claims spike as rusty drivers return to roads

The easing of lockdown in England saw a jump in claims, with the biggest leap occurring in south-central England
5 Jun 2020
Glimmers of hope as car sales rise to 20,000 in May
News

Glimmers of hope as car sales rise to 20,000 in May

New-car sales are down 89 per cent over May 2019, but green shoots appear as buyers make use of click-and-collect sales
4 Jun 2020
Seven-month extension for photocard driving licences
News

Seven-month extension for photocard driving licences

An estimated 1.4 million drivers who would otherwise have had to renew their photocards have been granted an automatic extension
3 Jun 2020

Most Popular

New 2022 Honda Civic Type R hot hatch set to stick with tradition
Honda Civic Type R

New 2022 Honda Civic Type R hot hatch set to stick with tradition

The next Honda Civic Type R will grow in size, but it won’t use a hybrid powertrain. Our exclusive image previews how it could look
5 Jun 2020
New Volkswagen Golf 2020 UK review
Volkswagen Golf

New Volkswagen Golf 2020 UK review

The new Volkswagen Golf will have to perform well on British roads to live up to its legendary name
5 Jun 2020
New BMW 4 Series: full details, specs and pictures of the 2020 car
BMW 4 Series

New BMW 4 Series: full details, specs and pictures of the 2020 car

The new BMW 4 Series coupe has distanced itself from the 3 Series with bold styling and a huge grille
5 Jun 2020