Masks are a part of the new normal. People are required to wear them at businesses like grocery stores and restaurants and even in some outdoor settings. Inside your car, you don’t have to wear a mask but you should think about where you store it.

“Put it in the glovebox, the seat next to you, or even your central console or pocket,” said Doug Shupe of the Auto Club of Southern California. “Anywhere except on that rearview mirror where it can block your vision.”

If you watch cars driving by, you will see many people hang their masks from the mirror. Shupe says hanging anything from there poses a safety risk.

“If you’ve got these masks hanging from the rearview mirror, that’s blocking your vision. Who knows what you could be missing,” Shupe said.

Shupe has not heard of any accidents caused by hanging masks but says AAA wants to get the message out before it happens: Hanging a mask from your mirror creates an extra blind spot or distraction, especially if it is a larger cloth mask or bandana.

“Anything that obstructs your vision out of the windshield is dangerous,” said Shupe. “[You could miss] a child on a bike, or somebody taking a walk, another vehicle. It’s extremely dangerous.”

Shupe recommends drivers avoid hanging anything from their mirror, even an air freshener or parking pass. He says driving can be dangerous enough, and people should try to reduce their risk.

“It only takes a second for a collision to happen and for you to miss something,” said Shupe. “Those masks are just adding to the danger.”

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