New Jersey Driver Passed Out and Crashed After Wearing N95 Face Mask
A recent New Jersey car accident may have occurred because a driver passed out after “excessive” wearing of an N95 coronavirus face mask. According to Fox News, the driver may have passed out and crashed her car into a power pole after wearing an N95 mask for several hours.
The woman was hospitalized following the single-vehicle crash on a two-lane road in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. The Lincoln Park Police Department said that the car accident might have occurred because the driver was wearing an N95 mask “for several hours” and subsequently passed out behind the wheel “due to insufficient oxygen intake and excessive carbon dioxide intake.”
Did the N95 Face Mask Actually Cause the New Jersey Car Accident?
In its subsequent Facebook post, the department clarified the original post, which it says received an “overwhelming response.” The department reiterated that they merely “believed” that the driver’s excessive wearing of the face mask was a contributory factor in the auto accident. The department concluded that an N95 mask might have contributed to the crash based on the following factors:
- The driver was wearing the mask inside the vehicle for several hours prior to the crash;
- The driver ultimately passed out behind the wheel; and
- Nothing was found at the accident scene that would suggest that this was a drugged or drunk driving accident.
However, the department also presumed that “it is certainly possible” that the driver passed out while operating the vehicle due to “some other medical reason.”
Interestingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend wearing face masks while operating a vehicle, especially if you are the only person in the car. Also, the CDC does not recommend wearing N95 respirators or surgical masks, saying that these items must be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
Fewer Car Crashes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
While the New Jersey auto accident does highlight the potential dangers associated with wearing face masks while operating a vehicle, reduced travel on the nation’s roadways and highways resulted in fewer car crashes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus crisis, and the resulting stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of the virus, has cut the car crash rate in many states and cities across the nation. New Jersey residents have seen a dramatic reduction in traffic volume following Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order.
Reduced travel on the road may also mean fewer car accidents in New Jersey. While it is too early to say how the state’s order affected the number of auto collisions in Morristown and other parts of the state, other states have reported a significant reduction in car crash rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some states, including California and Georgia, have noticed a decrease in car crashes after the implementation of their respective stay-at-home orders. A report by The Los Angeles Times showed that California recorded a 60-percent reduction in traffic volume and a roughly 50-percent drop in accidents between March 20 and March 30.
The report noted that the plummeting car accident rates in California could be “directly or indirectly attributed” to the state’s stay-at-home order. Many states, including New Jersey, have also noticed fewer collisions involving impaired drivers because bars and restaurants remain closed.
If you were involved in a vehicle crash during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact our Morristown single-vehicle auto accident attorneys. Reach out to the Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, P.A., to schedule a case review. Call at 973-455-1567 today.