April 8th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Global communities are promoting social distancing to help slow and stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This has led many people to avoid discretionary travel, resulting in significant changes in traffic patterns.
How Has Traffic Changed Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic?
The White House is urging everyone to do their part to combat the spread of the coronavirus and offers the following recommendations:
- Work or engage in school from home, whenever possible
- Avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people
- Avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars, and food courts; take advantage of restaurant drive-thru, pick-up, and delivery options
- Avoid trips for shopping, social visits, and other discretionary travel
- Avoid trips to nursing or retirement homes, or long-term care facilities unless a visit is necessary to provide critical aid
As people work together to follow the recommendations mentioned above, fewer drivers are on the roads. USA Today reports traffic congestion has eased up in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Yet, less congestion on the roads is delivering few benefits to drivers at this challenging time.
Social distancing is one of the best options to help ward off the spread of the Coronavirus, health authorities told USA Today. Thus, even though people may be tempted to travel outside their homes to visit loved ones, go shopping, and perform other activities that they previously enjoyed, doing so can put your health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of others in danger.
Is It Safe to Drive During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
You can still drive during the coronavirus pandemic, but you should only do so if you need to travel for an “essential activity,” such as:
- Grocery shopping
- Traveling to a job that is deemed “essential”
- Traveling to a medical appointment or pharmacy
- Taking care of a family member or friend
- Taking a pet to an emergency veterinarian appointment
- Going to a restaurant for drive-thru or take-out service
- Visiting “auto repair” businesses to keep your car running and running safely
Remember, if you can stay off the roads as much as possible during the Coronavirus pandemic, you are doing your part to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
How to Drive Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Here are tips you can use to drive safely during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Follow the Rules of the Road
Fewer drivers are on the roads due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean “driver faster than usual.” Follow the speed limit, use your turn signals, and perform other safe driving practices any time you’re on the road.
2. Avoid Pit Stops
If you need to travel a long distance, bring drinks and snacks from home. This allows you to avoid stopping at a convenience store to pick up drinks and snacks along the way; reducing additional exposure.
In addition, ensure your car has sufficient fuel if you need to make an extended trip. If you stop at a gas station to fuel up, clean and disinfect your hands thoroughly before and after you pump gas into your car. You should also wipe down the handle of the gas pump, your car’s gas cap, and any other surfaces you touch with a disinfectant wipe.
3. Practice Social Distancing
If you need to get out of your car at a convenience store, gas station, or anywhere else during a car trip, maintain a minimum of six (6) feet between yourself and others.
COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily from close contact between people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By practicing social distancing, you can lower your risk of coming into close contact with someone who unknowingly has the coronavirus.
4. Remain Calm
The Coronavirus pandemic is causing stress and anxiety levels to rise globally. As people try to protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19, tensions are increasing, which may lead to reckless driving.
Driving recklessly always puts you and other drivers in danger. If you feel stressed and anxious about driving during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. When you experience these feelings, you need to manage them appropriately to avoid putting yourself and others at risk.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, try to remain calm, especially while driving. If stress and anxiety feel overwhelming when you’re behind the wheel, pull off to the side of the road and take a short break. Once you feel calm, cool, and collected, return to the road.
What to Do If You Get in a Car Accident During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you get into a car accident during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should call for police immediately. Police will arrive on scene and guide you and the other driver through the process of collecting information and provide the help you need after the accident.
Continue to practice social distancing. The other driver involved in an accident may be inadvertently coping with the Coronavirus, so you should avoid coming into close contact with him or her.
If you are injured, request emergency aid.
Meanwhile, if you cannot drive your car after an accident, call a tow company. Practice social distancing when the tow truck driver arrives, and request to have your vehicle towed to an auto body shop or your home.
Once you return home from your accident, contact your insurance company. Remain patient, as insurance companies and other businesses are dealing with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, and service levels will likely be impacted.
At Fix Auto, we want to help drivers stay safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If you experience a car accident or require repairs during this time, we are available to assist you.
All of our stores remain OPEN during the COVID-19 pandemic, but our hours vary, so please call ahead. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with us, please contact your preferred location, or call us at 1-800-INFO-FIX.