There’s no legislation on wearing a mask or protective face covering when driving
Drivers should use common sense and determine if keeping the mask is safer than removing it
Wearing a mask out in public and using a face covering to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 has become commonplace across North America, and the world really. We all agree that wearing a mask in public is the right thing to do, but what about wearing a face covering when you’re driving?
Because there is no legislation on this in either Canada or the United States, the right decision comes down to common sense. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself if you’re not sure if you should keep your mask on behind the wheel.
Does the mask bother you?
Is the mask a hindrance to you? Do you have difficulty breathing when you’re wearing a face covering? Is the mask poorly fitted to your face and routinely inches up over your eyes? Are you constantly fiddling with it? Do you wear glasses that end up steaming up when your mask is on?
Ultimately, wearing a mask is uncomfortable for a lot of people. It gets worse when its blistering hot outside. Common sense says that you don’t want anything that can suddenly impede your vision when driving or that will distract you when you’re driving. So, if the mask is uncomfortable for you, you should just take it off. There have been plenty of examples of people crashing because of their mask in recent months, so do be careful if you decide to keep it on.
That said, don’t just take it off the second you come out of the store. According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, you should consider the outside of your mask contaminated when you have been out in public. If you do remove it, make sure you have a way to quickly wash your hands. You can have a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car to apply after you removed the mask.
Is someone in the car with you?
If you are alone in the car and you have a way to wash your hands, you can take the mask off when driving. However, if someone else is in the car with you that doesn’t live in the same household, experts say you should keep the mask on in the same way taxi drivers and Uber drivers are required to wear masks. The person getting in the car should also wear a mask.
As WebMD puts it, you should treat the mask in your car in the same way you treat it a home. You may occasionally wear a face covering in your house if there’s a person there from a different household, like a repairman for example.
Same thing in the car. Keep your mask on if you can’t safely wash your hands after taking it off, or if someone else from a different household is in the car with you.