Motorists have been offered guidance for minimising health risks and maintaining good hygiene levels when driving cars and vans.
Motoring experts from UK-based LeaseVan.co.uk have released nine pieces of advice to help drivers maintain good health and personal hygiene while in their vehicles.
From what to keep stashed in the glovebox to the steps vehicle owners should take to minimise the spread of germs, following the guidance could help Brits who spend a lot of time behind the wheel steer clear of conditions in their car or van that could harm their health.
A spokesperson for LeaseVan.co.uk said: “There’s plenty of advice out there for keeping your home or workplace hygienic”.
Here is the their advice:
1. Keep alcohol gel in the vehicle
Keeping an antibacterial hand sanitiser gel in the glove box of your vehicle, often made from alcohol, allows you to maintain proper hand hygiene and clean any dirt from your fingers before they touch anything.
2. Wipe surfaces regularly
To stop bacteria building up, to be touched or breathed in, surfaces including the steering wheel, gear stick, door handles and dashboard should be wiped clean frequently – especially if the vehicle is shared between multiple drivers.
3. Wear gloves when filling up
Most petrol stations provide free disposable globes, which drivers can take advantage of to prevent any grime from getting under their finger nails when refuelling their vehicles.
4. Hoover the footwells often
Just like a doormat at home, the footwell of a car will have all sorts of dirt and bacteria walked into it, which will grow and could prove problematic if not cleaned away regularly.
Don’t simply mask damp or mouldy carpet smells with an air freshener and hope the problem goes away.
5. Allow fresh air in
Breathing in too much recycled air doesn’t help your respiratory system, so drivers on long journeys should wind their windows down occasionally to allow fresh air to circulate through the vehicle – even if it’s a bit chilly outside.
6. Try to minimise travel with unwell people
The confined environment of a car or van can be a prime location for catching illnesses off friends and family, so drivers should usually try to steer clear of offering lifts to anyone they know is under the weather.
7. Catch coughs and sneezes, but not in your hands
Drivers should cough and sneeze into a disposable tissue, their inner elbow or inside the collar of their shirt, rather than into their hands or completely unprotected – both of which can spread harmful bacteria.
It’s never recommended to take a hand off the steering wheel for longer than necessary or if road conditions mean doing so could be dangerous though.
8. Carry mouthwash and floss
Keeping a small bottle of mouthwash and a roll of floss in the vehicle’s glovebox can allow you to keep on top of vital oral hygiene, particularly after eating, even when a toothbrush and sink is inaccessible.
9. Eat well even during long road trips
Your body needs fuel to fight illnesses and other health issues, so you should keep a stash of daily vitamins on hand if you spend a lot of time in your vehicle.
While on long road journeys, stay well rested, properly hydrated and try to stick to regular and healthy meals that give you all the nutrients you need, rather than simply snacking on fatty and sugary foods.