Hi there! Today, we’ll be talking with three experts, one from the medical field and two from the automotive industry about staying safe while driving during this COVID-19 outbreak. 

While we’re all encouraged to stay indoors to keep safe and curb the spread of the coronavirus, we’ll all still need to go out from time to time to get some supplies for you and your family.  

Our experts will be providing insight and tips on how to keep safe even if you’re out and about grabbing the essentials. 

Recognizing high-touch surfaces 

Besides other things in your home, your car is a veritable collection of high-touch surfaces, an area where it gets touched often. As you can imagine, areas like these collect the most germs and viruses from human hands. 

As such, it’s important to keep them clean before and after driving.  

Gene Corbett from totaldriver.com.au had this to say: 
It is the same with the virus or any other common cold. there are two common areas, everything that is touched by hands and fingers, and think about that next time you drive, how many controls you touch, either randomly or constantly. 

For our cars and staff, we use Agent Orange, an all purpose cleaner that is exceptional at cleaning and disinfecting. A micro fibre cloth is kept in the car to be used in conjunction with agent orange. This is washed and replaced every day. There is also sanitiser, but sanitiser is simply soap with alcohol added.” 

And viruses & germs can live long on surfaces. Dr. Ryan Harvey from House Call Doctors weighs in: 

“How long a virus can survive on a surface absent of a human host also depends on environmental factors including humidity and temperature and could vary from a couple of hours to a couple of days” 

And Australia is a land of extremes when it comes to temperature and environmental factors; in short, there is no dependable or set time frame when a surface is clean from germs & viruses; it’s better to just clean them right away, and do it as often as you can to protect yourself from the COVID-19. 

Paul Burke from NTI also weighed in, and noted of the following surfaces for us: 

  • Door handles Inside and Outside 
  • Steering Wheel 
  • Gear levers 
  • Cabin entry grab handles. 
  • Ignition keys 
  • Radio controls 
  • Fuel filler caps 
  • Oil dipstick handles 
  • Coolant filler caps 
  • Oil filler caps 
  • Turntable release handles 
  • Landing leg handles on trailers 
  • Door handles on truck/trailer bodies 
  • Trailer coupling lines Air and Electric 
  • Seat belts 
  • Sanitising the vehicle Air Con system using a disinfection pressure pack once a week 

Recognizing these high-touch surfaces just might save your life, and make sure to keep track of them especially if you’re living in an area with confirmed cases, or persons under monitoring for COVID-19. 

What you can do 

Our experts share some best practices during this time of the outbreak. Dr Harvey provides a very succinct and insightful piece of advice: 

“The best practice a person can employ is general hygiene. Washing hands regularly with soap and water and regularly using hand sanitizer. Consider having hand sanitizer in your centre console so it’s easily accessible. 

Regularly clean your vehicle’s surfaces, focusing on areas that you may touch more often than others. Obviously that will encompass the steering wheel but also extends to your gear stick, radio volume control and window switches. 

No special formulations are required for cleaning, just soap, water and, general cleaning products” 

With the surfaces outlined earlier, you’ll be able to identify which of these high-touch surfaces are and provide the appropriate cleaning methods. 

If you’d like to take it a level higher and provide the best protection for your vehicle, Paul Burke had this to add:  

“Using protective plastic seat covers 

Using disposable floor mats 

In some cases sanitising the vehicle Air Con system using a disinfection pressure pack.  (AC on recirc, fans on full, windows up, releasing can of sanitiser spray, inside cab, shut door and leave run for 10 mins)” 

Gene Corbett adds, 

“Germs come from two factors, contaminates from our hands, but also from our mouth and saliva. This doesn’t even have to be visible to be a factor. But it doesn’t have to be a sneeze or a cough that can get you contaminated. 

Another important factor that is often over looked is germs also come from breathing, infact we even lose weight through breathing, where do you think the energy goes? 

To counter this, the windows are left down a bit to create a negative pressure that creates positive airflow back outside of the car, the vents are aimed at the driver and passenger, so positive airflow, fresh from outside, blows pass the driver or passenger and out the slightly opened window 

This also helps to alleviate another risk of being in such confined spaces. 

Also replace the pollen filter in your cars ventilation system regularly. It will be absorbing airborne bacteria. If you are not sure how to do it, consult with your airconditioning specialist or mechanic. 

Bacteria is more than just your dash board or steering wheel, it is in the air you breathe, so understanding how to move the airflow in a positive manner, straight out the nearest window, will help keep you and your passengers safe and virus free” 

With all these steps, your car is sure to be free from the COVID-19. 

Outside of your vehicle 

Your car isn’t the only point of consideration when it comes to safety against the COVID 19. You’ll need to be mindful of areas you’ll be visiting in between driving; Gene had this to say: 

“Another risk of contamination comes from filling up, the pumps at the bowser are handled by a variety of people, all with origins or illness unknown. Using the same microfibre cloth creates a barrier to stop the transfer of germs and bacteria. 

Alternatively, you can use paper from the service station and throw it out afterward. 

You can purchase Microfibre cloths from a variety of stores, automotive and retail, from Supercheap to Spotlight. This means you can keep changing your cloths throughout the day and simply put in the washing at night, ready for use next time, no different to washing clothes.” 

There you have it- all that you need to keep your vehicle COVID-19 free. Special thanks to our guests: 
Dr. Ryan Harvey from House Call Doctor 

Paul Burke from NTI 

Gene Corbett  

Remember, if you need electronics for your home and car, such as dash cams, reversing cameras, security cameras and power inverters, we have all that you need here at Elinz. We continue to deliver high quality products safely straight to you door!  

Stay safe, and stay indoors!  

Original Source: https://www.elinz.com.au/blog/the-experts-weigh-in-driving-safe-during-covid-19/6625 | 03 April 2020