Statistics usually show large increases in travel at certain times of the year, but COVID has changed all the numbers. While COVID still adjusts much of what we do, we know some families are making plans for trips in the coming months to have a little downtime or to see family who they have missed since the beginning of 2020. Whenever you travel and for whatever reason, Integrity Urgent Care has a few tips for travel safety.
Traveling by Car
- Before you leave, check over your vehicle for any maintenance issues that may cause troubles on the road. Check windshield wipers and fluid levels, check tire pressure, and make sure you have an emergency kit in the trunk, just in case.
- Follow all rules of the road, including posted speed limits. Those numbers are there for a reason and research has gone into making sure that is the safest possible speed for the stretch of road ahead. Make sure you pay extra attention to road construction and detours along the way.
- Limit distractions like your cellphone and other passengers. These can both be hard to accomplish, for their own reasons, but distractions can make an easy road trip difficult or dangerous. Download an app that will limit your texting and explain to passengers that certain behaviors are off limits while driving.
- Take breaks frequently, even if you are trying to make good time to your destination. It can be hard to pull over and break through the rhythm of driving you have found yourself in, but taking breaks to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, or find a healthy snack can help you be a better and more alert driver.
- If your car is having trouble running, be safe about pulling over to the side of the road. Put on your hazards immediately and pull over as far off the road as you can to provide a safe zone between you and any passing traffic. Before you leave, check with your insurance company or a third-party company about roadside assistance.
Traveling by Public Transportation
- Clean as you go, both yourself and the space you occupy. By washing your hands and sanitizing your seat, you will reduce the chance of extra germs finding their way to you and your family.
- Move around when possible. During layovers, take a brisk walk around the airport area near your gate to get your blood circulating. When on the plane or other mode of transportation, stand up to stretch regularly (at least every hour) and move around as you can. Even short stretching exercises can be done in your seat to help.
- Listen for all instructions. Our habit is usually to begin tuning in to our personal entertainment or to start trying to catch a few winks of sleep as soon as we get to our seat, but important information is given in the few minutes leading up to departure and takeoff. By listening to these instructions, you will be more aware of what you need to do in an emergency.
- First and foremost, stay home and postpone your trip if you or anyone you are traveling with or to has any symptoms of illness or believes they have been exposed to someone who is sick. This is especially important when wishing to see family who may have increased risk of serious complications.
- Wash your hands even more frequently, especially if you are using public restrooms in gas stations or airports where there are more high contact touch points than at your own home. Use a 60% alcohol-based sanitizer, rubbing it all over your hands, and letting it dry. Your hands should feel wet for at least 10 seconds after application.
- Check the restrictions and guidelines of where you are traveling. Different states and counties have different regulations so a little research ahead of time will be important before you hit the road. Additionally, even if a state is open, some of the more popular attractions and sites may not be which could put a damper on your vacation.
- Follow the same guidelines you exercise at home, including wearing a mask around those who are not members of your household and keeping a minimum of 6 feet of distance from others. Mask wearing will be especially important on the mode of transportation where air circulation and space is limited.
By keeping a few extra steps in mind, you can help guarantee a more enjoyable and safer trip with your family this season. For those traveling in Texas, if any unexpected health issues or concerns arise while traveling, you may be able to visit one of our many locations spread through the state. We can help get you, and your family, back to a great trip together.