Download Driving in COVID-Normal Conditions for free here.

Driving is already a stressful, demanding task, which requires us to pay attention to many things at once. But what about added tension, an increase in mental illness and heightened emotions? Or drivers who perhaps have not gotten behind the wheel in months? What happens when everyday surfaces and high-touch points now hold more risk?

These are all additional stressors brought on by the COVID-19. Suddenly, places and surfaces we once did not think twice about require extra hygiene measures or restrictions. Ongoing uncertainty, reduced freedom and adjustment to new daily routines give way to anxiety, depression and other mental issues. In addition, some of us are not as able to visit loved ones or socialise, leaving us feeling lonely and dejected.

Considering how these changes have affected our lives and wellbeing is one thing, but considering how they affect our driving performance is another. As we slowly transition to getting back on the roads, it’s important to remember that vehicle interiors are home to many high touch-point areas. In this situation, maintaining a good level of sanitisation is key to keeping you and other passengers safe. On the road, we are all (understandably) more emotional. This calls for the need for greater awareness of our driving behaviour and attitudes towards other road users.

The latest ToolBox Talk package from NRSPP, ‘Driving In COVID-Normal Conditions’, addresses these issues around driving in our current situation. A collaborative effort between Jerome Carslake (Director of NRSPP), Jennifer Rivera-Gonzalez (MUARC), Mark Stephens (Uniting Care Queensland) and Caitlin Xavier (NRSPP Graphic Design Intern 2020/21), this package is a helpful tool for businesses and organisations to make employees/communities aware of the risks.

“UnitingCare recognised that as a result of a rise in crashes post COVID lockdown and after discussions with their insurers that there was a need to raise awareness of current and emerging risks especially risks with drivers that had not driven for months,” says Mark Stephens, Fleet Operations Manager at Uniting Care Queensland.  “The NRSPP and Monash University Accident Research Centre with input from UnitingCare have developed ‘Driving In COVID-Normal Conditions’ just in time to be used by fleets that are starting up in states coming out of lockdown. These resources will help raise awareness with drivers and help businesses to identify risks their drivers might experience.”

‘Driving In COVID-Normal Conditions’ aims to be a helpful, informative tool in keeping communities safe and aware on the roads, but also a friendly reminder that we all share transport space. With constructive attitudes, drivers’ individual behaviours can create a better road experience for everyone.

The package is now available for free download here.

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