If you are planning a road trip right now, there are certain precautions you need to be aware of concerning the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The risks of contracting and spreading this virus are real, and it is strongly recommended that you avoid any unnecessary trips. However, there are various reasons why a person or their family may need to take a road trip, and we want to make sure that you do so safely, in accordance with the most up-to-date CDC guidelines.
What to Bring
When you were planning your road trip right now, you will certainly want to bring the usual essentials with you. This includes beverages and snacks for everybody along the way. However, when you are taking a road trip during the COVID-19 pandemic, you also need to bring the following:
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfected wipes
- Appropriate face masks
Where are Masks Required?
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice recently issued a statewide executive order that requires face masks to be worn in all indoor spaces across the state. Specifically, the order requires that all West Virginians aged nine or older wear face coverings in any indoor space where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. The order does not apply to anybody who has breathing problems or anyone who would be unable to remove their face covering without assistance.
Fueling Up: Gas and Food
When you are on a road trip, you will inevitably need to stop to get food, use the restroom, and fuel your vehicle. When you do need to stop, you should limit the number of people getting out of the vehicle, if possible. Anyone who goes inside of a gas station or restaurant should wear their masks and make sure to properly wash their hands before eating and before getting back in the vehicle. Use disinfecting wipes on the gas station pump and use hand sanitizer after you are finished pumping the gas.
As you are traveling on your road trip, you may need to stay in a hotel or motel overnight. You should plan your route ahead of time and check to see which hotels and motels are open and which are not. In some areas, motels and hotels closed when the pandemic started and have not yet reopened. However, major chains such as Motel 6, Best Western, the Hyatt, the Hilton, and more have all remained open. While most hotels and motels have become more vigilant in their cleaning practices, it never hurts to ask about their process and precautions before you commit to staying. And you should still take steps to prevent contracting or spreading the virus.
Driving Safely Under All Circumstances
As always, it is important to operate your vehicle safely at all times. Be safe on the highways and interstates, and watch out for drivers who may be operating recklessly or driving too fast for conditions. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials all over the country have reported an increase in reckless driving behaviors since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. When you are on a road trip, follow the posted speed limits and remember that defensive driving is the best way to prevent a car accident from occurring.