Could driving be banned? UK drivers risk COVID-19 with major mistake

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Four in ten are guilty of making a major error surrounding COVID-19 safety – would the government consider a driving ban? A massive four in ten drivers admit to not taking any COVID-19 precautions when travelling with passengers despite almost 80 percent saying some guidelines would make them feel safer.

A total of 58 percent of British drivers are still giving lifts to people from outside their social bubble which could have the potential to spread the disease.

New analysis from Tempcover reveals that just 18 percent of motorists ask their passengers to wear face masks.

Just 14 percent of drivers wear a covering if they are transporting people from outside their household.

However, over half of road users admit they do sanitise their hands before or after driving with almost a third asking passengers to do this as well.

But Dr Ackerley has hit back at road users, revealing drivers must be “better educated” about how the disease can spread in an enclosed space like a car.

She said: “When it comes to this particular virus, people need to be better educated about the journey of the germ – that’s how the virus spreads from person to person.

“With a respiratory infection, the most likely primary cause of transmission is aerosol or droplet particles in the air passing from one person to another via the nose and mouth as well as being picked up by hands and transferred to the eyes, nose or mouth.

“In an enclosed space like a private car, the lack of distance means that additional precautions are needed to reduce the risks.”

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Dr Ackerley has urged drivers and passengers to wear face coverings at all times if travelling with someone outside their social bubble.

She has also urged drivers to keep windows open a few inches to circulate air around the car which could lessen the effect of droplets.

Passengers should sit as far apart as possible with road users given a designated seat throughout a journey.

Drivers should salsa wipe down passenger contact surfaces such as seat belts, window controls and door handles.

Dr Ackerley says: “Knowing the correct procedures is only half the battle; the difficulty is ensuring that your passengers are aware of your rules and stick to them.

“I’d highly recommend discussing your ‘rules’ with everyone before they get in the car, and ensure they agree to follow them every time.

“This saves embarrassment as everyone knows what is expected and you don’t risk refusing a lift to someone because they may have forgotten their face covering, for example.”

Tempcover has urged drivers to agree to a COVID car contract to help minimise the spread of infection inside a vehicle.

This includes refusing to shout or sing in the back of the car and an agreement that passengers must be open about whether they may have any symptoms.

The government is unlikely to issue a widespread ban on driving as Tempcover found that more than twopthrids of road users are using their vehicle to get to work and for leisure. 

Vehicles are also important to ensure the movement of essential  goods and so that children can remain in education. 

However, restrictions have been put into areas with local lockdowns with those in Tier 3 only able to only travel for essential purposes. 

This would not include overnight trips to other parts of the UK to visit family members or second homes.  

Alan Inskip, Tempcover CEO has also warned drivers to check whether their insurance policy allows motorists to car share.

Some agreements may not have this included and can see motorists caught out when their policy is invalidated.

He said: “In addition to being one of the safest means of transport during the COVID-19 pandemic, car sharing is also a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way for people to travel.

“But many motorists may be driving other people’s vehicles thinking that they have sufficient cover with their annual insurance policy, when in fact they may not.”

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