AUSTIN, Texas - AAA Texas is warning against hanging face masks on rearview mirrors.
The organization is warning that mask requirements are leading Texans to hang their masks on their rearview mirrors as means of convenience, however, they warn that by doing this, the masks block a driver's field of vision.
"With the current requirement to wear masks in public across Texas, many people keep masks in their vehicles. Some motorists have found that hanging them from the rearview mirror is a convenient way to keep them handy. However, a mask or any other object hanging from a mirror can partially block your field of vision, increasing the risk of a crash," AAA Texas wrote in a press release.
“Having a clear field of vision is extremely important to your safety when on the road,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “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 Texas says that impaired visibility contributed to 3,447 crashes on Texas roadways in 2019. Of those crashes, 51 resulted in fatalities, according to the Texas Department of Transportation crash data.
"On a typical city, a driver encounters as many as 200 situations per mile. The eyes provide nearly 90 percent of the information needed to respond to road conditions, traffic patterns, signs, and signals. Spotting signs is largely a function of side vision. Obstructing this field of vision, even partially, can cause you to miss things that should be seen, such as signs, pedestrians, wildlife, motorcycles, bikes, or other vehicles," AAA Texas stated.
AAA Texas vision-related driving tips:
- 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
AAA Texas also warns that drivers in Texas could be cited under certain circumstances if a driver is involved in a crash due to impaired visibility. Texas law leaves the decision of whether there’s been a violation up to the investigating officer or agency.
Click here to learn more from AAA Texas.
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