The driver passed out after wearing a face mask for several hours.
Face masks have become a common sight during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to offer protection from the virus. Some car companies such as General Motors, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Volkswagen, and Kia are even helping suppliers produce face masks to keep up with the high demand by both the public and the medical sector alike. But, as this driver found out, excessive use of N95 masks can have consequences in some circumstances.
In Lincoln Park, New Jersey, the driver of a Mazda CX-5 passed out after wearing an N95 face mask for "several hours" and crashed into a pole, causing severe damage to the compact crossover's front end.
Luckily, the driver, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, wasn't seriously injured, which is a testament to the CX-5's high safety standards, but was taken to hospital nonetheless.
The Lincoln Park Police Department believes the driver passed out due to "insufficient oxygen intake/excessive carbon dioxide intake" after wearing the face mask for several hours. "Motorists and the public alike are reminded that while masks should be used in public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they are not necessary outdoors when social distancing can be maintained, and especially not necessary when driving a vehicle with no additional occupants," the department wrote on Facebook.
However, while police acknowledged the crash could have been caused by another medical factor, they don't believe the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"As it relates to this specific incident, we reiterate that police officers are not physicians and do not know the medical history of every person we encounter," the department stated after receiving complaints from suggesting the face mask was the main cause of the accident. Yikes.
"It was stated in the original post that we 'believed' the excessive wearing of an N95 mask was a contributing factor to this accident. While we don't know this with 100% certainty, we do know that the driver had been wearing an N95 mask inside the vehicle for several hours and ultimately passed out while operating the vehicle."
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