COPPELL, Texas — The American Automobile Association (AAA) of Texas is reminding drivers that hanging items from your rearview mirror, including protective masks, is a safety hazard.
The AAA said with the current requirement to wear masks in public, many people keep masks in their vehicles. However, a mask or any other object hanging from a 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.
AAA 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 Texas lists other vision related driver safety 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.
In Texas, if a driver is involved in a crash due to impaired visibility they could be cited under certain circumstances, said the press release.