Valet Parking And COVID: Everything You Need To Know To Stay Safe

Valet parking can be super convenient. It allows you to relax and not worry about finding a parking space during busy times in busy locations. At hotels, restaurants, and casinos, being able to avail of valet parking means you can spend more time enjoying yourself and less time searching for a parking space. Having your vehicle parked by a valet can be quite the luxury!

As a disabled driver, you benefit from valet parking because it means you can exit your vehicle directly in front of your destination and therefore have less distance to cover. Valet parking can make a disabled driver’s life a lot easier. But during the COVID pandemic, when social distancing is being used to prevent the spread of infection, is valet parking a safe option? While valet parking is helpful and convenient, could it also be risky during the coronavirus pandemic?

Today we will discuss valet parking and COVID, detailing everything you need to know to stay safe.

What Is Valet Parking?

Valet parking is when an attendant (i.e. a valet) takes your vehicle and parks it for you. The valet will give you a ticket; when you need your vehicle again you show the ticket and it will be returned to you.

Valet parking exists to save you the bother of searching for a parking space. It is most typically offered by businesses to their customers, and is common at restaurants, hotels, casinos, and stores.

Dr Handicap - valet
Image by Olichel on Pixabay: Should I valet park during coronavirus?

What Are The Benefits Of Using Valet Parking?

The benefits of using valet parking are:

  • Time saving
  • Less hassle to find a parking space
  • Less distance to walk from vehicle to destination

The benefits to a business of offering valet parking include:

  • Fitting more customers in by parking vehicles efficiently
  • Attracting more customers by offering added convenience

Can I Use Valet Parking With A Disabled Parking Permit?

You can avail of valet parking services if you have a disabled parking permit. In fact, using a valet parking service can be even better than using a disabled parking space in that it usually offers the absolute shortest distance to travel between your vehicle and your destination.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled Parking Permit?

Not every business offers valet parking, so getting a disabled parking permit is still a very good idea. The qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit are:

  • Not being able to walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest
  • Any condition that impairs mobility to the extent that the use of a walking aid such as a wheelchair, prosthetic device, cane, or brace is required
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • An orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic condition that seriously impairs mobility
  • Legal blindness

Valet Parking And COVID

Knowing how to park safely during the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial because the disease is extremely contagious. So, is valet parking safe during COVID? Yes, provided that the valet service implements COVID safety measures.

What COVID Safety Measures Have Valet Parking Services Been Putting In Place?

Wondering “How can I find COVID-safe valet parking?” The best way to guarantee COVID-safe valet parking is to call ahead and ensure the business in question has strict hygiene and safety protocols in place.

To stay COVID-safe, all valets must:

  • Complete a self-screening survey every day
  • Wear disposable surgical masks and disposable gloves while working
  • Properly dispose of PPE
  • Avoid handshakes
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Sanitize frequently touched surfaces
  • Wash hands per CDC guidelines
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Follow SAFEPARK sanitization guidelines from the National Parking Association

Is Valet Parking A Higher-Risk Option During The Pandemic?

Valet parking is higher risk during the pandemic because COVID is a contagious disease, and if proper safety measures are not taken, a valet could pass infection on to their customers (or vice versa).

Should I Valet Park During Coronavirus?

If the proper COVID safety measures are taken by both driver and valet, it is safe to use valet parking during coronavirus.

Dr Handicap - parking lot
Image by Jordan Graff on Unsplash: Is valet parking safe during COVID?

What Can Disabled Drivers Do To Minimize Risk When Using Valet Parking?

When you are using valet parking during coronavirus, you can minimize risk of passing on or contracting COVID by:

  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Wearing a face mask
  • Sanitizing your hands
  • Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces in your vehicle

How Can You Get A Disabled Parking Permit?

The best way to get a disabled parking permit is to arrange a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional through the Dr. Handicap online clinic. Once your disability has been verified by the examining medical professional, they will complete the relevant sections of the DMV disabled parking application form, sign it, and email it directly to you.

Featured image by Paul Volkmer on Unsplash

Driving And Cellphones: The Dangers And The Solutions

Driving and cellphones are a troublesome combination. Only twenty years ago, cellphones were extremely rare and comically cumbersome machines. But these days, if you do not have a cellphone, you are in a vanishingly rare minority. They’re everywhere, and most people spend a good chunk of their waking hours staring at their cellphone screen.

Cellphones have brought a lot of good to the world. They benefit people’s lives in many ways; today, most details of a person’s life are monitored and organized by their phone. But they do have their detractors. People say that cellphone usage has become so constant in the lives of most people that in-person social interactions have dried up and people have become more isolated and lonely. Cellphones becoming so ubiquitous has its pros and cons, but the value or harm that a person’s cellphone usage brings to their lives surely depends on how they use their phone.

One way that cellphone usage can cause enormous harm is if they use their phone while driving. Using a cellphone while driving can have disastrous, tragic consequences for the cellphone user and other road users that come into contact with them. Read on for all you need to know about driving and cellphones, and why they can be such a dangerous combination.

Dr Handicap - vehicle accident
Image by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay: What are the dangers of using a cellphone while driving?

What Are The Dangers Of Using A Cellphone While Driving?

Using a cellphone while driving disrupts a driver’s concentration and focus. The resulting distracted driving makes having a crash considerably more likely. Studies have shown that using a cellphone while driving increase the likelihood of getting into a crash by an enormous 400%!

On average, nine people are killed and 1,000 are injured on American roads every day due to distracted driving. A large amount of this distraction is caused by using a cellphone while behind the wheel.

What Are The Risks Of Using A Cellphone For Disabled Drivers?

Disabled drivers face all the same risks if they use a cellphone while driving. For some disabled drivers who have a lot of adaptive driving equipment installed in their vehicle that they need to operate and monitor, distraction from a cellphone may even be more problematic.

Can I Answer My Phone While Driving?

It is very dangerous to answer a handheld cellphone while driving. The vast majority of US states have banned handheld cellphone usage while driving. Texting while driving is also illegal in almost every state, and even in the tiny minority of states that have not yet made handheld cellphone usage while driving illegal, we strongly advise that you do not do it.

You can answer your phone while driving if it is connected to a hands-free device and you are over 18.

Solutions To Stop Cellphone Use While Driving

Here are some suggestions for avoiding cellphone use entirely while driving.

  • Use apps that detect when your vehicle is moving and prevent your phone from receiving calls and texts, such as AT&T DriveMode
  • Use settings that block your cellphone’s function while in the car
  • Set your phone to drive mode if it is available
  • Put your cellphone on silent mode
  • Put your cellphone out of reach while driving
  • Turn your cellphone off while driving
  • Use a separate GPS device so you don’t have to use your cellphone for navigation

Cellphone Safety Tips While Driving

Here are some suggestions for using a cellphone safely while driving.

  • Use a hands-free device
  • Only use hands-free when in situations where a conversation won’t cause a dangerous distraction
Disabled Parking - car conversion
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay: What are the solutions to stop cellphone use while driving?

How To Get A Disabled Parking Permit

Getting a disabled parking permit can bring huge improvements to a disabled driver’s quality of life. The qualifying conditions for a disabled permit vary slightly state by state, but the most common qualifying conditions are:

  • Not being able to walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest
  • Any condition that impairs mobility to the extent that the use of a walking aid such as a wheelchair, brace, or cane is required.
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Legal blindness
  • An orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic condition that impairs mobility

The best way to apply for a permit is to arrange an online consultation with a medical professional through Dr. Handicap. Once your condition has been verified, your DMV application form will be filled out by the medical professional, and you’ll be on your way to accessing more convenient parking wherever you go.

Featured image by Pexels on Pixabay

How Disabled EV Drivers Can Make Sure They Get The Most Out Of Their Electric Car

Electric cars are surging in popularity because of all the benefits they offer. Aside from the fact that drivers no longer have to pay for gas, electric vehicles are much cleaner for the environment and can cut a person’s carbon footprint significantly.

When it comes to disabled drivers, it may be hard to determine what electric car if any will be good enough to accommodate their needs. There are specific types of electric cars that are more suitable than others, such as the Toyota Prius or the Volkswagen e-Golf. These types of vehicles offer more than enough features for those with disabilities, such as being easier to drive when it comes to handling, ample room and storage space, and having higher safety ratings than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. But how can disabled EV drivers make the most out of their vehicle?

Dr Handicap - electric vehicle charging station
Image by Ernest Ojeh on Unsplash: EV charging for persons with disabilities can be easier than filling up a traditional car with gasoline.

Electric vehicles for disabled drivers

Choosing the right electric car is the first step in getting environmentally friendly on the road with a disability. One of the biggest benefits of electric vehicles for disabled drivers is that they are all automatic. There is no clutch or gears to deal with, and that makes it a seamless transition from an automatic gas-powered vehicle.

Many electric cars are also being made similar to their gas-powered counterparts when it comes to size and storage capabilities. This means that any modifications a person may need to make to their car could easily be done with a new electric vehicle.

For those who require more space, electric vehicles such as the Kia Soul EV and the Nissan E-NV200 Combi are great options to choose from. The Nissan E-NV200 Combi can be ordered with seven seats that are fully folding. This provides ample room for those who may need to bring along their wheelchair or other large cargo.

Handicap EV parking

The demand for electric vehicle parking has been growing exponentially in the last few years because of the rise of the use of electric cars. As more and more people are purchasing these environmentally friendly vehicles, more places are having to fill the demand for electric vehicle parking stations.

One discrepancy in those spaces, though, is accessible EV parking stations. In many places in the United States, electric vehicle charging stations have been made accessible for those with disabilities.

According to a report by the International Parking and Mobility Institute, there are no national standard when it comes to electric vehicle parking spots and charging stations for those with disabilities. There are, however, some guidelines:

  • Accessible spaces at EV charging stations don’t count towards the parking facility minimum
  • Charging stations are required to have space allotted for a person in a wheelchair
  • Typical ADA reach range and turning radius requirements are the standard for accessing the equipment
  • EV charging spots should be created in the same way as other ADA parking spaces

These guidelines are there to ensure that those with disabilities can have easy access to charging stations wherever they are.

Dr Handicap - person driving car
Image by CardMapr on Unsplash: Electric vehicles are easier to drive for people with disabilities, making them a great car choice.

Getting the most out of your electric vehicle

To get the most out of your electric vehicle, you will want to utilize all the perks it has to offer. For example, if you use your car for daily driving, it may be a good idea to ensure that you charge the battery at your home base charger. This will keep you from needing to find an accessible spot while out and about.

Electric vehicles are also cheaper on costs, as mentioned above. This can make your life easier because you can say goodbye to the gas pumps and certain regular maintenance costs that come with traditional cars. By switching to an electric vehicle, you could save thousands of dollars per year, which can allow you to live more freely with your disability, financially speaking. It may also free up some cash to help add more modifications to your vehicle if you need or want them.

Driving an electric vehicle isn’t just good for people with disabilities – everyone could benefit from driving a more environmentally friendly vehicle. However, those with disabilities can particularly enjoy the smoother rise, easier handling, lower costs, and ease of charging when they buy an electric vehicle.

Featured image by Andrew Roberts on Unsplash

Why Is Driving So Tiring? How To Avoid Getting Sleepy Behind The Wheel

You’re cruising down the highway, with a long drive ahead of you. You slowly notice that your eyes are starting to close, and before you know it you’re veering into the lane next to you. So why is driving so tiring? And what can you do to stay alert behind the wheel?

All drivers quickly learn that driving can be both mentally and physically tiring, especially at night. This can often be due to a combination of factors, including driver fatigue, lack of sleep, or even certain medications. Research has even shown that the low-frequency vibrations of our cars can make us tired, inducing sleepiness – if you’ve ever lulled a baby to sleep in a car, you can relate!

Wondering “How can I stop being so tired while driving?” Here are a few tips on how to avoid getting sleepy behind the wheel, helping you stay safe and in control.

Know the warning signs of driver fatigue

Why does driving make you so tired? Often, it’s because you were already tired when you got in the car. To avoid getting too tired while you drive, make sure you’re familiar with the signs of driver fatigue. It’s most frequently experienced on long road trips, as sitting in the car for hours on end can be exhausting.

If you notice yourself yawning, feeling stiff or cramped, or your eyes feel sore, these are signs that you need a break. Or you might notice that your reaction times have slowed down, you’re daydreaming and not focused on the road, or you’re having trouble keeping your head up – these can also indicate that it’s time to pull over.

Dr Handicap - man behind wheel
Image by rezasaad on Unsplash: Avoid driving at night, as it’s when you’re most likely to feel fatigued.

Sleep well the night before

One of the best ways to prevent driver fatigue is by sleeping well the night before. Get a solid eight hours, at least, and try to avoid alcohol or stimulants, as these can impact your sleep quality. If you’ve had too much alcohol the night before, you can still read over the legal limit the next morning, so this is the last thing you want to do before a long drive.

It’s best to start road trips in the morning, when you feel fresh. Don’t start off on a long drive in the afternoon, after an eight-hour shift – you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Take regular breaks

On long drives, it’s helpful to take breaks about every two hours. Pull over, get out of the car, stretch, and give your eyes and mind a break from the concentration of driving.

This gives you a much-needed break and you should feel more refreshed when you start driving again. Some drivers might find it tempting to stock up on coffee and sweet treats when they take breaks, but healthier snacks are always better; the inevitable sugar crash a few hours later can leave you feeling tired and groggy.

Most drivers find that around 8–10 hours of driving is more than enough – if you need to drive more than that, it’s best to stop overnight halfway.

Share the driving

A great way to avoid fatigue is to share long drives with someone else. Is driving mentally exhausting? Yes – many drivers find that the repetitive nature of highway driving, the constant focus, and the mental energy it requires leaves them worn out at the end of the day.

If you can share the driving with a friend, it allows you to rest, take a nap, or just give your eyes and brain a break. Having company in the car can also help you stay awake, since you’ll have someone to talk to and pass the time. Even better, you can split the cost of gas!

Try not to drive at night

If all possible, try to avoid driving at night. You’re likely to be tired from a long day, and decreased visibility makes it harder to stay safe on the road.

The night skies also attract lots of wildlife to the road, so in rural areas, nighttime driving can increase your risk of an accident.

Dr Handicap - driving with passenger
Image by Orkun Azap on Unsplash: How can I stop being so tired while driving? Sometimes, bringing a friend along to share the drive can help.

Talk to your doctor

If you’re doing all the right things, but you still feel exhausted by driving, you might want to talk to your doctor to learn more. Sometimes, fatigue can be a side effect of medication or a health condition, so medical care can allow you to manage it safely.

A medical checkup can help you learn more, working out what might be causing you to feel so tired behind the wheel. Even if you have a chronic health condition, like breathing difficulties, it’s still possible to enjoy the fun of driving. Your doctor can talk to you about special considerations or alterations you can make to the way you drive that it can make it safer and easier for you.

Driving is one of the best ways to get around town, and for many people, it gives them a strong sense of independence and freedom. However, for your own sake and for the drivers around you, always take care to avoid driver fatigue. You want to stay alert and focused so that you can safely enjoy driving for many years to come.

Featured image by Andy Art on Unsplash

7 Tips On How To Avoid Driving Distracted

Knowing how to avoid driving distracted is extremely important. In fact, it is crucial, because distracted driving is a major cause of serious injury and death on the road.

Distracted driving causes thousands of car accidents every day on American roads. And sadly, many Americans have ended up permanently disabled because either they or another road user were driving distracted.

A vehicle is a lethal weapon in the hands of a distracted driver. A car, van, truck, or motorcycle becomes capable of wreaking destruction when it is not under the control of a responsible, skilled driver.

The right to drive on public roads should never be taken for granted. Each road user bears a huge responsibility to drive safely and to protect themselves and other drivers. Driving is an art that requires skill and concentration to perform well.

Unfortunately, some drivers on American roads do not take driving as seriously as they should. What they may not realize is that all it takes is a microsecond of inattention for serious accidents to eventuate.

Dr Handicap - vehicle accident
Image by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay: Distracted driving can result in crashes, injury, and even death.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving means driving when you are not fully and completely concentrating on the act of driving, and/or the environment and surroundings that are relevant to safety while driving.

What Causes Distracted Driving?

Any number of things can cause distracted driving. There are many possible external distractions in the environment, both inside and outside the vehicle. These include cellphones, music, passengers, eating or drinking, reading road signs, and looking at the landscape.

It is also very possible to be distracted internally by thoughts, emotional states, illness, tiredness, or intoxication.

What Is The Main Cause Of Distracted Driving?

You might be wondering, “What is the number one cause of distracted driving?”. Well, by quite some distance, the most common cause of distraction while driving is phone usage.

This comes as little surprise, because practically everybody now seems to be at least somewhat addicted to their cellphone. It is illegal to use a cellphone while driving, but unfortunately, too many drivers still flout this law.

Why Is Distracted Driving Dangerous?

Distracted driving is dangerous because it is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. Distracted driving causes serious injury and death to thousands of Americans every year.

How Can We Prevent Distracted Driving?

Thankfully, there are plenty of effective ways to manage distractions while driving. Read on for some tips on how to avoid distraction and stay focused at all times while driving.

1. Don’t Use Your Phone While Driving

As we mentioned, cellphone usage is the number one cause of distracted driving. Cellphone usage while driving kills. You must resist the urge to use your cellphone in any way while driving, because all it takes is one moment of distraction for tragedy to ensue. No text message is worth that!

2. Prepare Before Getting Behind The Wheel

A major cause of distraction while driving is putting on a seatbelt, or adjusting the seatbelt or seat, while the vehicle is in motion. This is dangerous and can easily lead to a crash. Always prepare to drive before you start driving, and don’t get onto the road until you’re settled and ready.

3. Don’t Drive While Drowsy

Tiredness and drowsiness are major causes of distracted driving. To avoid distracted driving due to fatigue, always pull over for a break, nap, coffee, or fresh air when you are feeling drowsy behind the wheel.

4. Don’t Eat While Driving

Eating while driving can be very distracting. Whether you’re trying to unwrap food or worrying about spills and crumbs, it can take your all-important attention away from the road and your surroundings. Avoid eating while driving; if you need a snack, pull over.

Dr Handicap - using phone while driving
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay: Never use your cellphone while driving.

5. Avoid Loud Conversation, Music, Podcasts, And Backseat Drivers

Conversation with other people in the car, listening to backseat drivers, getting lost in loud music or a podcast… All of these can result in distracted driving. To avoid distraction, make sure that no sound going on inside your vehicle is taking your attention away from the road.

6. Don’t Drive With Too Many Passengers

An overcrowded car can be very distracting. To avoid the dangers of driving while distracted, do not ever allow your car to have too many passengers, and ensure the passengers you do have are respectful and quiet.

7. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Well Maintained

Driving a vehicle that has technical issues can be very distracting and dangerous. Always make sure that your vehicle is well-maintained and in great working order.

Featured image by Free-Photos on Pixabay