How to Commute Safely to Work
Now that restrictions are starting to ease and you may be heading back into the office, you might need to think about keeping yourself safe as you make your way to work. As well as Covid considerations, there are other safety aspects of travelling to work that you need to be aware of. Whether you take public transport to work or drive yourself, there are always risks. We will go through the potential risks of commuting to work and how to be aware and avoid them.
Commuting During the Pandemic
Obviously using your own private transport during Covid is the safest way to commute, but that isn’t an option for everyone. So lets look at the ways you can keep yourself safe from Covid on public transport.
Avoid touching things– sounds obvious, but using contactless payment options is a great way stop the spread of coronavirus. If you do end up touching a ‘frequently touched’ surface then try to wash or antibac your hands as soon as you can. This is because coronavirus can remain on surfaces such as plastic and metal for a while.
Be aware of your face– on average we touch our faces around 16 times per hour, so if you have contaminated hands, you need to try not to touch for face. This is the same with gloves, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security with gloves, they will also be contaminated if you touch a surface that contains the coronavirus. Its actually safer to not wear gloves and use hand sanitiser regularly.
Don’t fidget– where possible try not to adjust or touch your mask, you risk contaminating it. It’s important that you always wear your mask correctly on public transport, to protect yourself and others.
Maintain social distancing– if possible, try to travel during non-peak hours and always keep at least 1 metre plus from those around you. There should be social distance markers on public transport, so try to follow the guidance.
Improve ventilation– if at all possible open any windows on the bus or train you are on. This is especially true if you are in a car share or taxi as you can’t socially distance when in a car.
Walking to Work
While walking to work is one of the safest ways of commuting Covid wise, it does pose some other risks that you need to be prepared for. Unfortunately you are more at risk walking alone if you are a woman, try to employ as many as our tips as you can.
Plan your route– if you haven’t walked to work before then its important you check before you set of the route you will take. If you do need to stop and look at a map or your phone, then make sure you stop where lots of people are.
Let someone know- it’s vital that you let your colleagues know that you are walking to work and what time you are likely to arrive. Exchange phones numbers with a colleague if possible, so you can let them know if there are any issues.
Walk with confidence– try to make eye contact with those you pass by, and keep your head up, this will make you less likely to be an attacker’s target.
Wear the right shoes– this is more than just a comfort thing, its for safety as well. Wear shoes that make it easy to make a quick getaway, if you’ve ever tried to run in heals or flip flops then you know what we mean. Try to wear flats or trainers, you can always change your shoes when you get to the office.
Safe clothing– try to wear clothing that makes you visible, such as bright colours or reflective bands and strips. This is more important in winter when its darker for longer.
Stick to public areas– if at all possible, try to walk where there are lots of people, where you can be seen even if it takes you longer. Taking shortcuts through woodlands or secluded fields puts you at risk.
Be aware of your surroundings- it’s advisable not to wear headphones when walking as it makes it easy for someone to sneak up on you undetected. Same principle if you are staring at your phone while walking, you need to keep your eyes a head and be alert to what’s happening around you.
Traffic safety– you must always walk into the direction of oncoming traffic; this means you will be able to see the traffic coming towards you. It also means a vehicle won’t be able to pull up behind and surprise you.
Extra steps– carry a personal alarm that admits a loud noise when activated. Keep your valuables hidden and finally trust your instincts, if you see someone who looks suspicious then cross the road.
To learn more about walking alone safely then read our blog on keeping yourself safe.
When it comes to commuting, driving to work, is the safest way Covid wise, however you need to make considerations for other road users to keep yourself and them safe. Speed is a major factor in accidents and its pedestrians that you need to watch your speed for. Shockingly children that are hit at above 20 miles an hour will nearly always die, but under 20 will nearly always survive. So, when driving through a built-up area, especially near school, you need to watch your speed.
You also must resist the urge to look at your phone while driving, not only is it illegal, looking at your phone means you are more likely to be in an accident. The best way to avoid temptation is to keep your phone on silent out of arms reach. Some modern cars come with screens and can connect to your phone, but this needs to be done when you are stationery.
What to take away…
Whether you drive, walk or get public transport when commuting to you must keep yourself safe. This applies to Covid as well as your general safety. Hopefully you have learned some useful tips that will keep yourself on the way to work.