AAA: Keep protective masks off of rearview mirrors

6 days 21 minutes 17 seconds ago Wednesday, September 16 2020 Sep 16, 2020 Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11:36:00 AM CDT September 16, 2020 in News
By: Natalie Wiens, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter

ST. LOUIS - In the time of the pandemic, it has become common to hang masks from rearview mirrors, but according to AAA, a mask hanging from a mirror can partially block your field of vision, increasing the risk of a crash.

AAA spokesperson Nick Chabarria said having a clear field of vision is important for roadway safety.

“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,” Chabarria said.

In Missouri, if a driver is involved in a crash due to impaired visibility they could be cited under certain circumstances. Missouri law leaves the decision of whether there’s been a violation up to the investigating officer or agency.

In 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. 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.

Some other vision related driver safety tips provided by AAA include::

  • 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.

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