In the past, carpooling has been a great way to limit motor vehicles on the road during the wintertime. As we continue to adjust to our new way of life with COVID-19, carpooling has become a concern to some as it includes many people, often from different households, to be in one vehicle together. There are steps that you and others can take while carpooling to make the ride safer. By taking a couple simple steps, riding in a motor vehicle with others can become a safer environment for everyone in the vehicle.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has issued a fact sheet as a guide to carpooling during COVID-19 times. Among the CDC’s recommendations are to wear a mask in the vehicle, to limit the amount of people, make sure to ride with the same people and to clean and disinfect the surfaces of the vehicle. Also, try to strategically sit to maintain the most physical distance between you and the other passengers in the vehicle. Moreover, it is important to try to have as much fresh air in the vehicle as possible. Although it is impractical to have your windows down during the winter months, using fresh air through the ventilation system is recommended as it limits the recirculation of air.
Additionally, another precaution you can take when carpooling with others is to let each person handle their own luggage. Whether you are traveling to work with others, going on a trip with friends, or just riding with your family, having each person carry and handle their own luggage, if possible, can also help to limit the contact among passengers. Also, having some hand-sanitizer available can be helpful in disinfecting your hands during and after riding in the vehicle. Although these extra measures can seem tedious, these little steps can make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe while carpooling. Ultimately, considering and practicing these steps can be helpful in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
As we continue to try to navigate through these uncertain times, any steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 can be extremely helpful. Carpooling does provide a lot of benefits to your community, especially in the winter months. With that being said, COVID-19 makes us consider a couple additional factors before we decide to carpool with others. Keeping the CDC’s tips in mind can ensure your carpooling experience is as safe as possible for all of those involved. Stay safe and happy holidays!