Truck driver wearing a maskThe COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives in one way or another. Although businesses around the country are slowly starting to reopen, there remains a risk of transmission. This is particularly true in high-traffic areas such as gas stations, rest stops and warehouses.

Truckers play an important role in keeping America stocked and running, but in doing so, they put themselves at risk. If you’re serving on the front lines, make sure to take basic safety precautions. A little bit of extra effort can go a long way toward protecting you, your co-workers and your loved ones.

1.) Personal protective equipment. When you’re in the safety of your semi cab, there’s little to worry about. When you pump gas, unload or restock, though, you’re at an increased risk of transmission. In order to protect yourself, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing personal protective equipment. This includes a cloth facemask, gloves and protective eyewear, such as safety goggles or sunglasses. Because COVID-19 spreads via aerosols — small droplets of moisture — adding an additional layer of protection between your eyes, hands, nose and mouth can significantly lower your risk of infection.

2.) Wash your hands regularly. Like it or not, on cross-country road trips, you’re still going to have to fill up for gas. Although there’s no way to prevent coming into contact with gas pumps and keypads, you can protect yourself by washing your hands thoroughly or using hand sanitizer every time you come in contact with an outside object. Use warm water and plenty of soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to cover the fronts and backs of your hands, as well as the crevices in between your fingers.

3.) Bring your meals with you. Restaurants are starting to open up. Some are even allowing indoor seating. But, for the time being, it’s better to pack your lunch and snacks before hitting the road. If you end up having to stop at a convenience store or food mart, buy more than one or two items. That way, you’ll stay stocked for a few days at a time. Remember, the less contact you have with other people, the better.

These are only a few suggestions to protect you during the pandemic. For a whole list of suggestions from the CDC, click here. Stay safe out there, and thank you for all that you do.