Trucking & COVID-19: Tips to Keep You Safe and Healthy on the Road

Man in semi truck wearing a face mask

Truck drivers are on the front lines of the coronavirus epidemic as they keep supplies and goods moving while risking personal health traveling state-to-state. Now, more than ever, drivers need to be proactive in staying healthy.

Tips to Help Avoid the Coronavirus, Flu & Other Viruses While on the Road

Maintain Your Distance

Limit close contact with others by following the 6-foot social distancing guidelines. To help maintain this while on the road:

  • Use paperless, electronic invoicing for fueling, deliveries, and other tasks, when available.
  • Contact facilities in advance to make an appointment for unloading cargo, and keep windows up when interacting with others. Tip: Be aware that some facilities may not grant access to restrooms and plan as best you can.
  • Use radio/phone to talk with dock managers or other drivers, if possible.
  • Pack food, water, and supplies to limit the number of stops you have to make.

Practice Good Hygiene

The best way to reduce the spread of germs is to wash your hands often.

  • The CDC recommends scrubbing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Tip: Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. 
  • Always wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth because that’s how germs enter our bodies.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.

Don’t Touch!

When in stores, truck stops, and other public places, avoid touching anything you’re not going to buy.

  • Avoid leaning on counters or touching common surfaces in stores. 
  • Use a paper towel or gloves when pumping fuel to avoid touching the nozzle and touchpad. (Note: If you wear gloves to pump fuel and then handle your cell phone, scratch your nose, or climb inside your truck before removing them, it’s no different than going without gloves.)
  • Wash your hands after being in public places where you may have touched surfaces frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, bathroom faucets, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, electronic cashier registers/screens, etc.

Consider Alternate Greetings

Say goodbye to handshakes. The intense grip and extended duration of a handshake spread germs more than other greetings.

  • Instead of shaking hands, consider a smile and friendly wave or a fist bump.

Clean the Interior of Your Truck Frequently

Because you spend the majority of time inside your cab, take time to clean it after making stops.

  • Use cleaning wipes or disinfectant spray to clean door handles, the steering wheel, the gear shift, knobs, and any other touchpoints in your truck. 
  • Spray the seats and sleeping areas with disinfectant spray. 
  • Keep your truck well-ventilated.
  • Wipe your phone off with cleaning wipes – it can harbor germs.

Know When to Seek Medical Care

Know the symptoms that require medical attention, especially COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you are on the road and aren’t able to go to a clinic, take advantage of telehealth services. They can evaluate your symptoms via a phone call and decide if you should be tested for the coronavirus or seek other treatments.

Remember, the best way to stop the spread of a virus is to seek medical attention and stay home when you are sick.

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