car crash n95 mask
© Lincoln Park Police via Facebook
A Lincoln Park driver lacking oxygen due to hours of wearing an N95 mask passed out behind the wheel and crashed, authorities said.

The unidentified driver had been wearing the mask for several hours and had been getting too much carbon dioxide, and too little oxygen, before crashing Thursday, authorities said on Facebook.

The driver was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Police reminded the public that face masks are not necessary outdoors while social distancing can be maintained, and "especially not necessary when driving a vehicle with no additional occupants."

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
UPDATE: An N95 mask worn by a driver may not have been the reason he fainted and crashed, said police in Lincoln Park, updating an original report.

"It is certainly possible that some other medical reason could've contributed" to the accident, they said in an updated post.

"Police officers are not physicians and do not know the medical history of every person we encounter," police said. "We conduct accident scene investigations using training, experience and observations at the scene to determine a cause.

"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," they added, "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.

"We also know that nothing was uncovered at the accident scene that would suggest that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"It is certainly possible that some other medical reason could've contributed to the driver passing out," the updated post on Friday said.

Lincoln Park police didn't specify where the crash occurred.

They did note, however, that "the driver was transported to the hospital for a complaint of pain" and it "is not believed that any life threatening injuries were sustained."

Police in the Morris County town said the "overwhelming response" to the incident in various local, regional and even national news media required them to clarify the original report.

"We are not trying to cause public alarm or suggest wearing an N95 mask is unsafe," they said.

"The original point of the post was to state that in most cases, the wearing of this type of mask while operating a vehicle with no other occupants is unnecessary," they added. "NJ residents should absolutely continue to follow the directives regarding face coverings put in place by our governor."