Ever since the first drive-thru opened in 1946, the U.S. saw a boom in fast-food restaurants and other drive-thru businesses. There are about 50,000 fast food chains in the United States and about 500,000 fast food places in the world. With a dominant car culture, it is no surprise that many Americans use the drive-thru for everything from food to prescriptions. Now Americans are using drive-thrus even more as social distancing measures remain in place. But in light of the current coronavirus pandemic, are drive-thrus still safe? According to the FDA and health officials, it is safe to get take-out or delivery from restaurants. However, there are safety precautions one should take to limit the risk of contracting the disease. We look at established and new drive-thru businesses and drive-thru safety tips.
What is a Drive-Thru?
A drive-thru, or drive-through, is a type of take-out service that allows businesses to provide services without customers getting out of their cars. There are all kinds of drive-thru businesses besides food-centered establishments that have gained popularity during the pandemic.
Fast food restaurants are one of the most common drive-thru businesses in the U.S. Most fast food places have a drive-through option. Some even offer a drive-in option where you take your food and eat it in your car on their premises. Now, restaurants that previously did not offer this service are experimenting with drive-thrus.
Motorbanks, as they were called, first started in the 1930s and eventually transitioned to the drive thru ATMs we know and use today.
Just like fast-food chains, drive-thru car washing first came on to the scene in the 1940s. The first automated car wash opened in Hollywood, CA in 1940.
Although the first drive-thru pharmacy opened in 1971, it didn’t catch on until Walgreens opened their first drive-thru pharmacy in 1991.
The drive-thru liquor store is convenient, but not legal in all states.
With the amount of time Americans spend in their cars, drive-thru coffee is an obvious business model. The first drive-thru coffee place opened in the early 90s, gaining popularity with Starbucks’ growing number of drive-thrus.
Las Vegas is home to the drive-thru wedding chapel, where you can actually get married inside your car.
Since the start of the coronavirus, businesses have gotten creative with how to keep afloat but also keep their customers and employees safe. Enter the drive-thru business model.
Many restaurants that are typically dine-in service only have become mini markets. These restaurants have turned to selling produce, pantry items, and paper goods like toilet paper in order to stay in business. Some of them offer drive thru, contactless pick up service.
Drive-in Church Service
Social distancing measures make it hard to congregate in religious houses of worship. In light of the pandemic, some churches have turned to the drive-in model.
Drive-Thru Coronavirus Testing
The most notable new drive-thru on the market is of course drive-thru testing for the coronavirus. The idea is to be tested without getting out of your car. This is for the safety of both you and the physicians and nurses conducting the test.
Now that you’re acquainted with the many types of drive thrus in the country, you’ll want to know specifics on how to stay safe when accessing them. If you become the victim in a drive thru issue in the Las Vegas area, don’t hesitate to contact our personal injury lawyers. Call our office right away: (702) 857-6000. Schedule a free consultation and let our lawyers discuss your case with you. Don’t wait – call now: (702) 857-6000.
For a free legal consultation, call (702) 857-6000
10 Drive-Thru Safety Tips
It’s no question that the world looks different with most residents ordered to stay at home. People are trying to stay safe from contracting or passing the coronavirus. They are also trying to stay safe on the road where there are anxious drivers. We put together some drive-thru safety tips to prevent accidents and injuries and to minimize the risk of contracting the disease.
- Wear gloves. If you have access to a pair, wear gloves to receive your order at the drive-thru. Just don’t touch your face with your gloved hands. If you don’t have gloves, use hand sanitizer until you get home where you can wash your hands.
- Wear a mask. Federal guidance advises people to wear face masks when out in public. Wearing a mask when you’re in a drive-thru or drive-in business protects you and the person handing you your goods.
- Wash your hands. A person who handed you your goods could put you at risk for the coronavirus. If they had the virus and sneezed or coughed onto whatever they handed to you, you could contract the virus. Make sure to wash your hands as soon as you get home. Food and beverage establishments have taken extra precautions to practice proper food safety. However, you should still wash your hands after touching any packaging that a worker might have touched.
- Don’t use cash. Try to avoid cash, debit, and credit cards if you can. Many drive-thrus offer virtual payment options. Other businesses offer online payment so all you have to do when you arrive is pick up your order.
- Bring your own pen. Don’t use someone else’s pen to sign a receipt because it could be contaminated. Bring your own pen to sign.
- Drive at off-hours. If you can, try to avoid the times when most people are rushing to the market, bank, or whatever drive-thru service they need.
- Don’t use your phone. Just because you’re in a drive-thru doesn’t mean regular traffic laws don’t apply. If you’re on your phone you can still get a ticket.
- Follow traffic rules. It is tempting to just double park and throw on some blinkers since there aren’t as many cars out on the road these days. But if you’re picking up from a restaurant or market, try to use their designated parking or another legal parking space. If the business offers a service of direct drop off in your trunk, make sure you’re out of the way of traffic and bikers.
- Leave space between your car and the car in front of you. You should always try to leave space between your car and the vehicle in front, in case you need to brake suddenly.
- Stay alert. It’s easy to be distracted these days. There is the latest coronavirus news on the radio reporting alarming statistics. It can be distracting to see how different everyone looks with masks on. Even our own anxiety around the pandemic can have us all on edge. Others are probably feeling the same. This is why it’s important you take extra caution when driving, especially drive-thrus where it may feel like you can let your guard down.
Since we don’t know when this pandemic will end, it’s important we start adjusting to our new way of life and on the road. As more and more businesses try to convert to drive-thru and drive-in models, we must make sure we are practicing safe driving. People are going through a lot right now, which could lead to heightened emotions behind the wheel. The more alert we can be when we are on the road, the safer they will be for everyone.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident in a drive-thru, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights. Our car accident lawyers are experienced at handling all types of car accidents. These accidents include: large trucks or SUVs, accidents involving motorcyclists and bicyclists, and accidents where there was a driver who was driving under the influence/with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Car accident attorneys at our firm offer you the best opportunity to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. It’s okay to inform yourself with some data from the Internet. But when it comes to seeking maximum compensation, you’ll want to put your case in the hands of the experts: Anthem Injury Lawyers, serving Las Vegas and vicinity. Not only do we have extensive car accident case experience, we are up to date on current legal challenges, including the latest events surrounding COVID-19, and will work aggressively to protect your rights and help you receive maximum compensation. Call us today for a free case analysis: (702) 857-6000. Our law office is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley. Should you need us to, we can come to you. Call us today if you’ve been the victim in a car accident in the Las Vegas area.
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