Carpooling or ride-sharing safety tips during COVID-19 virus

As many South Africans return to work, they may once again be relying on carpooling or ride-sharing to get to their destination. Under level 4 lockdown, however, there are strict rules governing how this can be done.

The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says the main regulation is the reduction of the number of people in a car to three. “Other legal requirements include wearing masks and leaving after 5am due to curfew. Another important regulation is to have a permit that allows you to travel to work.

“Yet, even with these restrictions in place, travelling in a vehicle with people that you have not been in lockdown with, still exposes you to a higher risk of contracting the virus. Consequently, each person should follow additional procedures to further reduce this risk.”

Herbert provides tips on how to do this:

  • If you are able to, travel to work by yourself rather than carpool. The considerable decrease in the petrol price will also assist with this.
  • If this is impossible, agree between yourselves to sanitise the car daily.
  • MasterDrive has created an infographic that drivers can use when sanitising their cars.
  • Require passengers to complete a risk questionnaire daily. If any person starts to show symptoms or displays high risk, arrange for them to see a doctor.
  • If there are only two people in the car, the passenger should sit in the back not the passenger seat.
  • Keep sanitiser in the car for the driver and passengers.
  • Request all passengers to put their belongings in the boot.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in the vehicle by keeping the windows open.

For ride-share drivers

  • Uber or similar rideshare drivers must sanitise the car after each client.
  • If you transport a client that does not declare their risk or does not follow the recommended guidelines, you are within your rights to refuse service.
  • These drivers should monitor their own health as well and if you display symptoms, see a doctor before resuming work.
  • Place signage in your vehicles requesting passengers to follow the correct hygiene etiquette.

While not travelling with other people is often impossible, ensuring you take every possible precaution to mitigate the risk is not. “Protect yourself, your family and your colleagues by following the basic rules and recommendations.

“Often making the right decision, is about using common sense and following your gut instinct. While we do not promote paranoia, we do advise caution. If you are uncertain about possible safety measures, MasterDrive has a free online course on their website. Do not hesitate to complete it and ensure that you stay safe during these uncertain times,” says Herbert.