Even though the country is officially on lockdown, the general public is permitted to leave their homes to attend to vital chores such as grocery shopping or fetching medication, etc.
Our motoring expert Vuyi Mpofu shares 5 lockdown driving car maintenance tips to keep in mind:
1. The absence of bumper-to-bumper traffic could give the false impression that the roads are completely empty. However, there are many vehicles still on our roads particularly those belonging to essential services workers as they travel to and from work. As per the law, give way to emergency vehicles even during this period and continue to adhere to general road rules such as stopping at red traffic lights.
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2. Should you encounter a roadblock, be prepared to produce your driver’s license as well as answer any questions posed to you by law enforcement. Questions you can expect include the purpose of your travel and/or proof of the reason for your travel, e.g., receipt from the grocery store or prescription for essential medication. Essential services workers may also be required to produce permits or documentation as proof of why they are on the road.
3. Keep sanitizer in your glovebox and wipe your vehicle down before and after your drive. Areas to focus on include: door handles, steering wheel, gear lever, window controls, indicators, radio (and other) controls and of course your car key. Also use an anti-bacterial air freshener too pre and post your trip to eliminate any nasties which might be floating in the air.
4. The best gloves to wear when driving are latex/rubber gloves, and preferably ones which fit the size of your hands. Gloves that are too big will present the same problem as non-rubberised gloves (worn leather or wool) in that they won’t ‘grip’ the steering wheel and other essential elements such as the gear lever.
5. Keep an eye on your vehicle’s service interval and minimise driving as much as possible. Should your car be in need of its next service, contact the dealership and enquire how much mileage/leeway they will grant you over the stipulated service interval mileage.
The aim of the lockdown period is to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 infections so unless it is utterly unavoidable, do endeavour to stay at home. This is not only for your own health and safety but also as a service to the country at large.