How can I minimize COVID-19 transmission when riding a car?

Infection and Spread

A: Open up those windows, mask up, and keep the duration short.

Physicists from UMass Amherst recently used simulations of airflow patterns within car interiors to study the best way to minimize transmission risk during ride-share style car rides. The car geometry was based on a Toyota Prius traveling 50 mph.

Key results:

➡️ Opening ALL windows was the best way to reduce transmission risk, though perhaps not always practical.

➡️ While opening ANY window is better than no window, specific strategies can yield even better results:

🚗 For a driver/back seat passenger configuration typical in ride-sharing, the most natural configuration of opening the driver and passenger windows was an improvement but still allowed a fair amount of contamination from the driver because of the direction of airflows.

💡Opening the windows *across* from the driver and back-seat rider showed the best results (other than all windows being open) creating an “air curtain” reducing contaminated air reaching the passenger.

As always, prevention measures are most effective when layered together, so if you must ride in cars with those outside your bubble, be sure to also wear a mask and keep the ride as short as possible.

Stay Safe and Stay Sane!
The Nerdy Girls

Study Press Release/Summary

Scientific Article

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