Masks and social distancing are the keys to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing a mask reduces your chance of infection by 65% and is effective at preventing you from infecting others. While it’s critical that we all wear masks in public, we don’t need to wear them all the time. In fact, there are some very good reasons why you shouldn’t wear your mask while driving.
COVID-19 is spread through droplets in the air we breathe. A mask catches many of those microscope droplets before they leave our mouth. For that reason, you only need to wear a mask if you’re near other people. The virus is not floating around us at all times, like an invisible cloud, it is spread by other people and left on surfaces we touch.
If you’re driving alone or with people you’re sheltering with, there is no need to wear your mask while in the car. In general, you should only wear a mask while driving if you’re a delivery driver who will be getting out of the vehicle every few minutes or a rideshare driver. Wearing your mask more often than that can cause distracted driving or even a car crash.
Although it goes against mask guidelines, most people constantly readjust their masks, especially when they don’t have a good seal. This creates a manual and cognitive distraction behind the wheel. You become mentally distracted by the feeling of the mask and then take your hands off the wheel to adjust it. That’s just as bad as eating while driving.
It might be even worse if you wear glasses. Many people have improperly fitted masks or masks without an adjustable nose bridge. This causes your breath to rise through the only opening and fog up your glasses. This visual distraction isn’t just annoying, it needlessly puts you at a much higher risk of getting in a car crash.
We must all do our part to wear masks while in public, but public is the keyword. You don’t need to wear a mask when you’re the only person in the car. Doing so doesn’t offer additional protection, but does put you at a higher risk of causing a crash. If you wouldn’t wear a mask when you’re alone at home, you don’t need to wear one when you’re alone in the car.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries at the hands of a distracted driver, we are here for you. If you'd like to discuss your case with an experienced Easton car accident attorney from Meshkov & Breslin to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (610) 285-1963.