Although it can be convenient to keep them handy, AAA says a mask or any other object hanging from your mirror can partially block your field of vision, increasing the risk of a crash.
Impaired visibility contributed to 3,447 crashes on Texas roadways in 2019, with 51 of the crashes resulting in fatality, according to Texas Department of Transportation crash data.
"It should be noted the data does not list items hanging from rearview mirrors as a direct cause but reflects that impaired visibility can be a contributing factor in a crash," AAA says.
Some other vision related driver safety tips 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.
“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.”
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