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UK COVID-19: Global Driver Safety Tips

  1. If you feel unwell

If you develop symptoms including a fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough and – in more severe cases – shortness of breath, please follow the advice of the UK government.

  1. Personal vehicle use

If you are advised that you are able to use your own vehicle for work, ensure you have the necessary insurance in place that permits business use.

Remember that company policies and safety guidance, including regular vehicle checks, still apply when driving your own vehicle.

  1. Hygiene and disinfection

Sanitise frequently touched surfaces within your vehicle on a regular basis to avoid potential contamination, especially if the vehicle is shared/used by others.

Wear gloves outside of your vehicle to avoid contact with surfaces and objects.

Wash hands frequently (i.e. between deliveries/jobs) using liquid soap and water (hot or cold is just as effective) for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching surfaces while drying hands; use hand sanitiser (comprised of at least 60% alcohol) if you do not have access to washing facilities.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the bin when you are safely stopped, and wash your hands.

Sanitise your phone regularly and avoid putting it near your face (use speaker function).

Wear gloves when fuelling your vehicle as fuel pumps and associated handles/keypads are frequently touched surfaces that are not sanitised.

Try to use a contactless method of payment for fuel/snacks/drinks if possible. Regardless of payment method wash your hands/sanitise after making purchases.

  1. Rest breaks

To avoid fatigue it’s important that you continue to adhere to the required rest breaks while driving. However, be mindful that some locations may be in lockdown and usual rest locations may be closed.

Plan safe routes in advance (suitable for your vehicle size and type), remembering that diversions could be in place due to lockdowns or closures.

Avoid visiting busy locations, such as cafés and restaurants. Wash hands/sanitise before eating and before returning to your vehicle.

  1. Off-limits locations

Follow local, national and employer advice on locations that are off-limits, social distancing, crowd size etc.

  1. Customer contact

Currently, best practice advice is to avoid shaking hands or making physical contact with customers upon arrival/departure at your job.

Limit touching any shared surfaces such as counters, stair railings, lift keypads, door handles. If necessary, use gloves or a tissue to prevent direct contact.

Avoid working in busy/confined areas. Speak to your manager immediately if you have any concerns that could affect your ability to safely do your job.

  1. Carrying colleagues/ passengers

If you are required to travel with colleagues and feel uncomfortable doing so during this time, speak to your manager immediately.

  1. Staying calm

Stress and worry can significantly affect driving and, while this is a challenging time for everyone, it’s important not to let external factors negatively influence your attitude and behaviour behind the wheel. As always, getting home safely to your loved ones must remain the priority. Once home safely, remember to thoroughly wash your hands again!

Be mindful that others on the road may be more distracted than usual at this time. Remember that defensive driving is the best protection! Patience and forgiveness of others are good practices and will assist in keeping you and your family safe.

Continue to use good lifting practices to avoid injury during material handling activities and remember to wash/sanitise your hands after handling items.

  1. Distractions

With local and global situations changing by the hour, it’s understandable that you want to stay up to date with the latest news and advice and remain in regular contact with friends and loved ones. However, it’s important to refrain from making calls, sending texts, or checking for updates when behind the wheel, as distracted driving significantly increases your chance of being involved in a crash – this includes hands-free use.

  1. Wellbeing and impairment

A global infectious outbreak such as this might affect you in many other areas of your life, including sleeping, eating, worsening of existing health problems, mental wellbeing and increased use of alcohol and drugs; all of which have the potential to significantly impair your driving ability. Try to support yourself by eating healthy, exercising, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding alcohol and drugs. If you feel any area of your life is affecting your safety while driving for work, please speak to your manager immediately.

Be aware that over-the-counter medicines can have side-effects including dizziness, fatigue, nausea and so on. Check the label of any medication you are taking to make sure you are safe to drive.

More information: 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Overview & Stay At Home Advice (NHS)
COVID-19 Guidance on Social Distancing (UK Gov)