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Transport and medical experts share advice on how to keep your vehicle coronavirus free

Australia’s truck drivers are implementing stringent cleaning measures to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, and now transport and medical experts are sharing their advice on how all motorists can help keep vehicles coronavirus-free.

Many families still need their car to get to work or pick up groceries, and Australia’s largest transport and logistics insurer, NTI, said it was important drivers know how to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Clinical Director of national telehealth service 13 Doctor, Dr Ryan Harvey, said the first priority had to be hygiene.

“The best practice a person can employ is general hygiene,” Dr Harvey said.

“Washing hands regularly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds and regularly using hand sanitiser is the best way to combat germs and stop the spread of any virus. In your vehicle, consider having hand sanitiser in your centre console so it’s easily accessible.

“You’ll also need to regularly clean the interior of your vehicle. No special formulations are required, just soap and water and general cleaning products.”

NTI’s Business Relationships and Operations Manager Paul Burke said that’s what Australia’s truckies have been doing.

“Truck drivers are regularly cleaning the interior surfaces, focusing on areas they touch the most. The steering wheel is an obvious one but it’s important to also concentrate on the gear stick, door handles, seatbelts, radio controls, window switches and fuel filler caps,” he said.

“You can use disinfectant wipes for areas like the steering wheel if you wish but you want to make sure you don’t damage the vehicle’s interior so steer clear of bleach or ammonia-based products.”

Mr Burke said if the vehicle was still being used regularly, drivers should consider an air conditioning sanitiser clean once a week.

“For peace of mind, drivers might consider sanitising their vehicle’s air conditioning system using a sanitiser/cleaner pressure pack. To do this, put the air con on the recirculate mode with the fans on full. Wind your windows up and release a can of sanitiser spray inside the car. Shut the car door and leave the engine running for about 10 minutes so the disinfectant can make its way around the car’s interior.

“We’ve also seen many truck drivers opt for protective plastic seat covers and disposable floor mats so they can make sure the vehicle stays clean. This might be worth considering for motorists, especially if there’s more than one driver using the vehicle.”