While the fatal crash involving a Tesla car on autopilot mode attention has naturally focused attention on whether self-driving cars can be trusted, we should not lose sight of the dangerous levels of outright stupidity that human drivers are capable of. I was reminded of this when a few days ago I was stopped at a red light and looked in my rear view mirror. In the car behind me the driver had his cat perched on top of the dashboard exactly between him and the windshield.
This is bad in so many ways. Not only did the cat partially obscure his vision since he had to now look over the cat to see the road, but whenever the cat moves the driver will get distracted because movement always catches one’s attention.
This is why hanging ornaments that oscillate from the rear view mirror is not recommended and is even illegal, although at least they are not in the direct line of sight. A Minnesota state trooper addresses this question.
Yes, it is against the law to have anything suspended between the driver and the windshield. Like you say, that does include the handicapped parking permits as well. A law within the past few years currently does allow the GPS units to be on the windshield but only if they are way down near the dash area, and not up in a position of vision obscurement.
Other popular items we see that should be taken down from vehicle mirrors include large fuzzy dice, pictures, jewelry and all kinds of other personal objects. Remember that obscured vision is a critical issue that needs to be addressed by many drivers if they expect to have a safe trip while traveling.
Furthermore, if the cat stood up, the driver would have had his view almost completely obstructed. If the car is rear-ended, the cat could end up on the driver’s face or lap, causing him to lose control of the vehicle
It is also risky for the cat’s safety. If the driver has an accident or brakes suddenly, the cat would get thrown straight into the windshield.
There are so many bad things that could happen that I made sure that I quickly moved into another lane so that I was no longer directly in front of him.