Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Hang Your Face Mask from the Rearview Mirror
During the coronavirus pandemic, people have developed a habit of always carrying a face mask and hand sanitizer wherever they go. Many Americans do not leave their house without a face mask to protect themselves and others from the COVID-19 disease.
When you get in your vehicle, the rearview mirror may seem like the most appropriate spot for your face mask. In fact, many people have a spare face mask hanging from their rearview mirror just in case. However, hanging a face mask – or other items, for that matter – from your rearview mirror could increase the risk of a car accident.
Today, we are going to discuss the reasons why you should not hang your face mask, or other large items, from the rearview mirror.
Hanging a Face Mask from the Rearview Mirror Can Obstruct the View
A face mask hanging from a rearview mirror can obstruct the view of the driver if it creates a hazardous blind spot. A face mask hanging from the rearview mirror can be a safety hazard not only because it impedes your visibility but also because it can distract you while driving.
A face mask is a rather big item, which is why it can be quite distracting when it’s swinging around at the eye level. Since a face mask on the rearview mirror can block your view of the road ahead, you may not see a pedestrian or cyclist on the side of the road, could end up overlooking an approaching vehicle, etc. This could cause you to cause a crash, or be unable to react in time to prevent a crash.
The obstructed visibility increases your risk of causing a preventable car crash. Therefore, you could be held at fault for causing the collision simply because you failed to exercise due care and prevent the accident.
Hanging a Face Mask from the Rearview Mirror is Illegal
Many states explicitly ban the practice of hanging items and materials from the rearview mirror. New Hampshire is one of the states that prohibit attaching any items that could obstruct the driver’s view or distract the motorist.
Under NH Rev Stat § 265:95, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle with any item, sticker, sign, poster, or another nontransparent object or material “upon or adjacent to the front windshield” if the item obstructs the driver’s “clear view of the way or any intersecting way.”
If the item hanging from the rearview mirror is not too big, the driver could argue that it did not obstruct his or her view. However, a face mask is a rather large item that could distract the motorist and obstruct his view. Why take the risk?
Keep Your Mask in a Safe Place
Now that we have established that hanging a face mask from the rearview mirror is not only dangerous but also illegal in New Hampshire, you may be looking for a more appropriate spot for your face mask. There are many options. Consider your glove box, center console, a cup holder, or one of the storage spaces on the car door. All of these alternatives leave a mask in your car, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting it, but also keep your mask in a safe location which will not impact your driving.
If you were injured in a vehicle crash and a face mask may have contributed to the crash, speak with a knowledgeable Manchester car accident attorney to determine liability in your case. Contact the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC to schedule a consultation. Call at 603-624-7200 or 800-984-3151.