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As a follow up to last week’s column where I discussed the importance of spring cleaning for your vehicle, I thought now would be a good time to talk with you about spring driving. As the daylight in our days is officially longer, the weather is beginning to be warmer, and the flowers are starting to bloom – the desire to go out on the road increases.

But health restrictions remain in place and, according to a recent statement by Dr. Bonnie Henry, we should not expect these restrictions to be lifted significantly in the next few months until the COVID-19 vaccine rollout progresses further. So, though you should not expect to go on long journeys with friends and family anytime soon, going for a short drive can really be a great way to unwind and get out of your house in a safe manner.

Many families will be eager to take in the beautiful sights and sounds of BC’s springtime, but those who choose to do so must continue to consider social distancing practices and avoid travel to smaller communities for now. By temporarily avoiding travel to vulnerable parts of the province, we can all do our part to protect higher risk individuals and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Getting behind the wheel, when appropriate, can also be a great opportunity to give yourself some much-needed alone time, allowing yourself the chance to reconnect with nature, listen to an audio book, or disconnect from your computer, phone or email. Feeling the cool temperate breeze rush through your window, sunroof, or convertible may lead to a clearer head, free from external distractions that impact our physical and mental health.

With so much going on in the world around us, it’s only natural to feel some level of anxiety and pressure. Taking time for short drives either alone or with members of your household can help reduce the stress and pressures during times of uncertainty. It is by taking these steps as part of a larger community that we can all get through it together.

Hopefully by summertime, we will see more and more people vaccinated and restrictions will continue to lift. Until then, let’s all do our part to ensure we keep our friends, family, and communities safe.

Take care.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected].