ST. LOUIS — In the St. Louis area, wearing masks in public is a requirement so it's not surprising that many people are keeping masks in their cars.
And you may think hanging them from the rearview mirror is convenient. But AAA is telling drivers it isn't a good idea.
Why? It’s a safety hazard.
AAA said a mask or any other object hanging from a mirror can partially block your field of vision, increasing the risk of a crash.
“Having a clear field of vision is extremely important to your safety when on the road,” said AAA spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “Items such as masks, air fresheners, parking placards or anything else that reduces your ability to see things around you is a safety hazard and could increase your risk for a crash.”
AAA said a driver encounters as many as 200 situations per mile in a typical city. The eyes provide nearly 90% of the information needed to respond to road conditions, traffic patterns, signs and signals, a press release said.
Obstructing the field of vision can cause you to miss things that should be seen like signs, pedestrians, wildlife, motorcycles, bikes or other cars.
Here are some other safety tips for drivers:
- Scan the roadway and shoulder/median areas 30 seconds ahead
- At night, adjust your speed to the range of your headlights
- Read signs by shape and color
- Dim dash lights when driving after dark. Remove any light-colored or reflective materials from the dash
- To cope with glare, adjust the rearview mirror to the night setting
- As vehicles approach at night, look toward the right side of the road
- Keep a flashlight on hand to read signs and house numbers when driving after dark
In Missouri, if a driver is involved in a crash due to impaired visibility, they could be cited under certain circumstances, according to the release. Missouri law leaves the decision of whether there has been a violation to the investigating officer or agency.
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