PARS Drives Driver Safety
The Latest PARS Covid Update
October, 2020 COVID-19 UPDATE
PARS remains operational with our team members working safely from their homes and with complete access to all PARS technology and systems. We continue to closely monitor the state of COVID-19 and its effects on fleets and business in general given the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases in many states. While individual states are reintroducing some limitations on business activities, we have not seen an appreciable increase in actions that would inhibit storage facilities, detail shops, and motor vehicle departments, However, any move or service delays in our transport-provided services will be communicated to customers.
***NOTE: IF YOU ARE REQUESTING A TRANSPORT FOR A VEHICLE THAT MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO A DRIVER WITH ANY COVID-19 SYMPTOMS IT IS IMPERATIVE YOU PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION TO PARS TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE MEASURES ARE TAKEN. ACCORDING TO EXPERTS PUBLISHED IN THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19 IS VIABLE UP TO 72 HOURS ON PLASTICS, 48 HOURS ON STAINLESS STEEL, AND 24 HOURS ON CARDBOARD. THIS MEANS ALLOWING A VEHICLE TO SIT FOR 72 HOURS AND THEN CLEANING WITH A SIMPLE DISINFECTANT SHOULD ELIMINATE ANY RISK OF VIRUS TRANSMISSION. IF ALLOWING A VEHICLE TO SIT FOR 72 HOURS IS INFEASIBLE OR CONCERNS REMAIN, PARS NOW OFFERS AN ONSITE (AT YOUR FLEET DRIVER’S LOCATION FOLLOWING VEHICLE DELIVERY) SPECIALIZED DISINFECTING SERVICE. THIS SERVICE IS AVAILABLE IN BOTH THE US AND CANADA. PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO INFO@PARSINC.COM SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS SURROUNDING THIS SERVICE.***
Of course, like all businesses concerned about employee safety and social responsibility, PARS will adhere to all COVID-19 associated governmental directives and CDC safety recommendations. However, our experienced team will review thoroughly and recommend any possible alternative strategies in order to obtain the best results for our customers.
As circumstances change, we will keep you up to date on the impact on service availability. Of course, you can continue to check on your projects through the PARS customer portal, or contact your PARS account person. If you have specific questions around license & titling please email DMV@parsinc.com Any other questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our phone number is being closely monitored so you can expect a timely call back if you leave a message.
Toll Free: (800) 728-2211
Main: (703) 743-8000
Fax: (703) 743-8949
PARS PROVIDES INSIGHTS INTO COVID-19 IMPACT ON FLEET TRANSPORT AT AFLA/AUTOMOTIVE FLEET WEBINAR
PARS President and CEO Lori Rasmussen RECENTLY participated on a panel of fleet leaders for the AFLA-Bobit webinar series on the topic of the Latest Market Intelligence on COVID-19 Impact on Fleet Operations and Supply Chain Partners.
Here are some of her insights into the impact of the current crisis on the transport industry:
PARS has had a mobile driver app for the past few years, and its customers can still count on this technology for contact-free pickup and delivery in this new era of distancing.
While there have been widespread closures of motor vehicle agencies, most states have extended the expiration dates for vehicle registration, temporary tags, driver’s license. About half the states are open and accepting applications online or by mail. Others are processing renewals.
Some physical locations are open, but usually by appointment only and limited services. Her recommendation was that any company with expired or new vehicles needing registration get the paperwork ready now because of the influx of requests as agencies reopen.
Along the same line of thinking, Ms. Rasmussen mentioned that PARS seeing more maintenance facilities and body shops open up along with some dealerships addressing safety recalls. As a result, companies with idle vehicles should make maintenance appointments now to avoid the re-opening rush of requests.
Finally, PARS president covered some additional points, but the topic that drew special interest was repurposing idle vehicles. She shared the story of a PARS customer whose scientists needed to get into the lab to work on COVID-19 studies, based on Account Manager Wendy Chichester.
SANITIZING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC)
In early April, the CDC recommended the use of alcohol as a sanitizing agent for hard surfaces. Other chemicals were either too harsh for a car’s interior surface or too toxic to use inside a car’s cabin or both. The agency specified concentrations of 70% or higher and applying a disinfectant for 30 seconds continues to be recommended in order to decontaminate a surface.
In late May, the CDC restated its recommendation that people should continue to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces that could be harboring the virus. That statement was in response to news that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus had not yet been documented. The agency noted, “Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.”
Following CDC recommendations, companies are providing drivers with instructions for proper sanitizing of any vehicle. The following four steps can be considered best practices for drivers:
- Drivers should wash their hands before and after driving, plan their journey with intended stops and interactions in mind, and bring all necessary PPE to avoid contamination, including mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, and alcohol-based wipes. Wear gloves when possible outside of your vehicle, especially when fueling. Pumps, keypads and other surfaces are frequently touched and may not have been sanitized. When possible use contactless payment methods to avoid touching keypads or pens. Consider using knuckles rather than fingertips to touch common use contact areas.
- Drivers should conduct a pre-start check that includes hygiene management. Many of the same household cleaners that kill coronaviruses on hard surfaces at home can also clean most car interiors without causing damage, but don’t use scented wipes or wipes containing bleach. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens or dashboards, as they can damage anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings. Nearly every interior surface of a vehicle can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, and vigorous washing with soap and water can also destroy a coronavirus, but be careful not to saturate the surfaces. When using wipes, remove excess liquid before wiping surfaces, especially electrical components and touch screens.
- Drivers should sanitize vehicle high-touch areas, including keys and fobs, door handles, door latches and lock buttons, steering wheel, shift lever, any buttons or touch screens (radios, mirror adjusters, climate controls, etc.), wiper and turn signal stalks, center console and cup holders, driver and passenger armrests and seat belts, grab handles, and seat adjusters, headrests and seat pockets, and edges of the rear-view mirror.
- When finished driving the vehicle for the day, drivers should thoroughly wipe down the vehicle with disinfectant wipes or other appropriate cleaning solutions. When leaving the car, the driver should remove and dispose of used wipes.
PARS ORDER PROCESS INHIBITS DRIVER AND CUSTOMER CONTAMINATION
PARS has utilized a mobile driver app for the past few years, and it has allowed us to employ the technology for contact-free pickup and delivery. The first important step requires customers to inform us when placing an order if the vehicle had been occupied by anyone who had COVID-19 symptoms prior to or after vehicle pickup. If so, the vehicle must either stay in place for 72 hours. If that’s not possible, professional decontamination is necessary.
PARS EXPLAINS PROFESSIONAL SANITIZING PROCESS
Because PARS drivers deliver vehicles that meet or exceed our clients’ high standards for transported vehicle condition, sanitizing a vehicle is often an important prerequisite to vehicle delivery.
Professional sanitizing of the interior of a vehicle is a treatment that eliminates strains of bacteria, viruses, and other types of contaminants while creating a shield that makes surfaces resistant to them. Importantly, the results are verifiable.
PARS sanitizing partner can go to a vehicle site typically within 24 hours of notification and take the following steps to sanitize the vehicle:
- The technician dons appropriate PPE, including N95 filtering face piece (per CDC guidelines), eye protection or face shield, disposable gown or full, non-porous body covering, and gloves.
- An EPA (or, Health Canada) recommended disinfectant and associated dwell time are used to clean and disinfect, the FOB/key first, outside of the car, all doors, including door handles, window frames, and all hard interior high-touch items
- The technician avoids sitting in a seat until it is decontaminated and covered in plastic.
- Trash and debris are removed and a vacuum with HEPA filtration is used to remove dust, dirt, and debris.
- For porous ceilings, the surface is vacuumed, and a disinfectant applied. A small area is tested to ensure fabric is colorfast.
- All vertical and horizontal surfaces are cleaned using a detergent or soap and water before the application of a disinfectant.
- Seats are cleaned and disinfected. However, porous upholstery cannot be guaranteed to be disinfected. As an alternative, hot water extraction (using water to the highest temperature possible attempting to achieve 160 degrees F) is recommended for cloth upholstered seats. Once done, the seat is covered with protective plastic.
- Likewise, carpeted flooring cannot be guaranteed to be disinfected, and hot water extraction is the best alternative.
- When this is complete, the technician rolls up windows, shuts doors, turns the car on and runs heater at maximum temperature for 30 minutes. The heat helps to dry the product on cloth surfaces and can be effective in the disinfection process.
- Finally, since carpet and fabric disinfection cannot be guaranteed, it is recommended to restrict access to the vehicle for at least three days.
Driver Health and Safety
Driver Safety Resources
California Spike in Drivers Exceeding 100 MPH
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Government of Canada Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update
Government Response Resource
National Safey Council Guides Employee Safety as U.S. Ponders Reopening
NPTC Coronvairus Best Practices
The World Health Organization