Tips for Reacclimating to Your Daily Commute
9/11/2020 Car Accidents,News John Whitfield
As more businesses, offices, and schools are reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders, many Americans are anxious to start commuting to work again. Commuting to work may not look the same as it did before the coronavirus. Some workers have been able to work from home throughout quarantine and are no longer used to daily commutes anymore. Taking public transportation may not feel as safe with safety protocols put in place but not heavily enforced. However, as the traffic of personal vehicles increases again on the road, we should take all precautions necessary to commute to work in the safest way possible.
The following tips for reacclimating to your daily commute will help you get back on the road and to the office safely.
Check Your Car’s Vitals
Many cars, trucks, and SUVs that would normally be driven every day have sat idle in garages, driveways, and parking lots. Those unused cars still need regular maintenance that may not have been available during the stay-at-home orders. A vehicle that is not well maintained can be hazardous and can unexpectedly slow down a commute. Keeping your car properly maintained is crucial for commuting to work and is especially vital now that cars may have been stationary for so long.
Before heading back to work, here are a few important tasks to complete to ensure a vehicle is safe for the road:
- Start the car once a week and let it run for about 5-10 minutes to avoid a dead battery. If the car does not start, a friendly neighbor or roadside assistance can help with a battery jump.
- Before heading out to work, check the tire pressure in each tire. A flat tire can affect a vehicle’s performance, safety, and gas mileage. Tires lose air over time so it is a good idea to frequently check the tire pressure and keep it set to the manufacturer’s recommended psi. This can usually be found on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb.
- Check the oil level in the vehicle before getting on the road. An oil change may be necessary before starting a daily commute. Car oil can deteriorate over time with temperature fluctuations and may not be as effective in keeping a vehicle running smoothly.
- If the vehicle has been parked outside for a long period of time, check under the hood for any debris or animals nesting.
Drive Safely and Stay Focused
Getting back into your car, truck, or SUV is very exciting and many workers are very motivated to get back to work quickly. Driving safely is essential to returning to work. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer cars have been on the road but police still report an increase in fatal car crashes, with speeding being the top cause.
To stay safe when commuting to work, follow these safety tips:
- Allow for extra time to make it to the office. Leave early enough to account for any issues that may arise while commuting to work. There could be more traffic, an accident, road closures, or a variety of other complications that could delay arrival to work.
- Map out the commute before leaving. When commuting to work after months of not driving, it is very helpful to know how long it will take and if there are any changes to your previous route. The commute may be familiar, but may also have been a while since you’ve driven this route and something may have changed.
- Stay alert and focused on the road by driving defensively. Take into account the movements of other vehicles and give space to others commuting by car at the same time. Use turn signals and brake early to give all commuters enough space while driving to react to sudden changes.
- Drive without distractions. While driving, do not text, eat or drink, try to control a pet, fumble with the radio controls, or take your eyes off the road. Even before the pandemic, it was essential to stay focused on the road.
Traffic laws still apply during the COVID-19 pandemic. While roads may not have dense traffic, all traffic laws must be followed at all times. Be sure to fully stop at stop signs and red lights, do not speed, pass only on the left, give emergency vehicles enough space, and never drive impaired.
By keeping these tips in mind, commuting to work can be reintegrated as a safe and routine part of returning to work.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers carpooled to the office to save money, help the environment, or reduce the number of cars and traffic on the road. New precautions must be taken if carpooling to work. Some suggested precautions include:
- Limiting carpools to no more than one person per row of seats to allow for as much physical distance as possible between riders.
- All drivers and riders should wear masks at all times when inside the vehicle.
- Create a carpool “bubble” by riding with the same people each day and avoiding “drop-in” riders.
- Sanitize all surfaces touched by the driver and riders before and after the commute.
While carpooling is not recommended, it may be necessary to return to work. Minimizing risks while carpooling will help keep all members of the carpool safe.
Nashville Car Accident Lawyers
Motor vehicle crashes can be complex events that come with an array of emotions and issues. Luckily, Nashville car accident victims can call upon the guidance of Whitfield Bryson LLP to support them throughout the claims process. Our personal injury lawyers are well versed in Tennessee law and regularly litigate cases in Nashville courts. This allows us to provide clients with high-level knowledge on all areas of the case and what to expect, which can reduce stress during difficult times. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a car accident, contact Whitfield Bryson LLP today to discuss your case. Remember, you only have one year following the date of your accident to take action, so don’t delay.