The roads are much quieter, but keep an eye out for drivers who may think the lockdown is a chance for them to test the limits of their vehicles, says Eugene Herbert. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
The roads are much quieter, but keep an eye out for drivers who may think the lockdown is a chance for them to test the limits of their vehicles, says Eugene Herbert. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

Drivers who need to head out on to the roads during the Covid-19 lockdown will encounter a very different scenario to what they are accustomed to. In particular, there are a lot less vehicles than normal and likely more law enforcement.

Eugene Herbert, MD of advanced driving school MasterDrive, says that while one may assume their drive will be quiet and uneventful during this time, there are some things to be cautious of.

“The first is that the roads are not completely quiet. Public transport is operating between certain hours in the mornings and afternoons.

“There are also more private car owners on the road than expected, for various reasons. You can expect more of an early Sunday morning scenario than empty, open roads. Consequently, if you are about to head out, remember to continue driving defensively and keep an eye out for drivers who may think the lockdown will create an opportunity for them to test the limits of their vehicles or just drive recklessly without consequence.”

There are some other things to keep in mind. “As there are less vehicles on the road, debris that would normally have been knocked off the roads by cars continuously passing by is now likely still there. This is mostly leaves as winter approaches but there can be more damaging debris as well. Pay more attention to the debris on the road and avoid driving through collected leaves that could be hiding more harmful items.

“You are also likely to encounter a lockdown roadblock. While it is already a law, be sure to have your driving licence on you. Provide the law enforcement officials with the information that they request, whether it is a permit or explanation as to why you are out. These individuals are working diligently to flatten the curve, so let’s do what we can to assist.”

Ultimately, stay at home and only leave when absolutely necessary. “When you do leave, do not be tempted to break the law or drive recklessly. If a crash were to occur, despite all the other challenges this creates, even more pressure will be placed on emergency and health care workers which the country cannot expend right now.

“Watch out for drivers who are taking unnecessary risks or for debris in the road. Listen to law enforcement and do not become another challenge for them. Lastly, stay safe and healthy during this time so that we can all return to our normal lives as soon as possible,” says Herbert.