The question of why put bags over car mirrors when traveling alone is sort of a controversial one. While there are reasons for doing this, there are theories that are nothing more than that.
In our guide, we will look at all the reasons why put a plastic bag on car mirror. By the end, you’ll see the handy trick of a ziplock bag covering mirrors in the winter colder months to protect mirrors from snow and ice when parking en plein air rather than under a covered carport can help, yet other reasons not so much.
Where Did Putting Plastic Bag On Your Car Start?
Online adverts have included a picture of a Ziplock bag covering a car’s side mirror since at least December 2020. The advertisements seemed to promise a practical tip for drivers:
The ad read: “Put A Ziplock Bag Over Your Car Mirror, Here’s Why.” Another claimed: “ Always Place A Plastic Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling Alone, Here’s Why.”
They were merely clickbait ads taking traffic to websites like The Delite, Livestly, and others containing lengthy slideshow articles. Unfortunately, it was a waste of time because the narratives failed to explain the benefits of using a Ziplock bag as a car mirror cover.
Even though the advertisements were deceptive, there is a good reason to cover a car’s side mirrors with Ziplock bags. (Read Why Put A Crayon In Your Wallet When You Travel)
Myth Of Why To Put Bags On Car Side Mirror?
You may take numerous steps to guarantee your safety if you are a female traveling alone.
When parking, either to sleep in your car during a road trip, or if you are leaving your car overnight. One clever trick is to cover your side mirrors with bags.
One thing they do is to block incoming light from overhead lights or other drivers shining headlights into your side mirrors when you are having a nap.
However, here, the reason is different.
Besides the lengthy slideshow articles on the dummy websites, there is also the information that doesn’t offer much use for blocking your car’s mirrors.
The myth here is that it can stop a car thief from trying to steal your vehicle.
It is said that covering your car mirrors with a plastic cover is a handy trick to deter a car thief.
To them it is a red flag, and almost impossible for someone to enter through the window without making a noise when you cover your side mirrors.
In reality, it wouldn’t stop a car theft taking place. It would take a thief a little longer to steal a parked car, which is a likely answer.
Why Plastic Bags In Car Windows?
The most sensible explanation for why plastic bags are placed on car mirrors is protection. Some people cover their windows and mirrors with plastic bags to shield the inside from UV radiation.
They don’t want the sun to make their pricey and personal belongings less durable.
Covering the windows with plastic bags as the weather gets cooler prevents them from freezing and cracking.
Another reason would be to prevent obtrusive light diversions from the sun’s reflection back into your RV’s living space. Another significant factor contributes to plastic bags in automobile windows in several jurisdictions.
It is an appropriate signal to use when alerting authorities that the vehicle is not abandoned and is broken down. Some states may not know this as it isn’t used in some states. (Learn How Long Does It Take For Water To Freeze)
Why Have Bags Over Car Mirrors When Traveling Alone?
The following arguments support this assertion, although none make any sense.
Placing a bag over your mirrors offers little to prevent a mugging, theft attempt, or another more serious criminal purpose, other than putting out a flag that you are alone.
For you to understand the absurdity of such thinking, we shall list all the justifications offered by some for doing this.
To protect glass cleaners and other cleaning solutions from leaking off your mirrors.
- If you have valuables in your car, a thief could use side view mirrors to check before they break in and steal them.
- Prevents the headlights of vehicles behind you from shining in your face
- When parked and taking a nap, block incoming light from lamp posts or other sources.
- To hide objects that may fall while you’re driving.
- To stop the suns reflection
- To stop dirt and debris from getting on your mirrors
- To help keep the sun out
The advantages they mention for doing this are even more absurd. When traveling alone, most websites offer no justifications for drivers to cover their car mirrors with any form of plastic bag.
The headlines are merely clickbait for drivers visiting their websites and watching commercials.
There is no justification for keeping a Ziploc bag on your side view mirrors when you are alone in your car.
There are several for traveling in various weather situations, but you must use caution when doing so.
Most states have rules requiring you to have a clean field of vision when driving, and doing so is made impossible by using plastic bags to cover your mirrors.
If the police officer who stops you, you can receive a ticket, even if you are using a clear plastic bag on your car mirrors as it obscures your view in your side mirror.
While the above are nothing more than tricks, there is a legitimate reason to cover your vehicle, and put bags on your mirrors, yet it has nothing to do with traveling alone.
Using a Ziploc on a Side View Mirror
Some websites do advertise this vehicle travel concept. Compared to the ones we described, they offer better and more sensible justifications.
These explanations must only be used when no driver is behind the wheel and you are parked.
This method is suggested to keep snow off and prevent ice settling on your side view mirrors on frigid mornings.
You can understand the significance of this method if you grew up when cars lacked heated side mirrors.
Besides saving you some time, it can stop your mirror freezing and breaking.
This is not a problem once you are driving as snow and ice quickly fall off once, you start moving.
With the above, it is worth remembering, covering your side mirrors with a bag is a waste of time to stop onlookers peering into your car. They will look through the window and then break into cars if they see bags or other items of value.
However, when RV owners park up, they claim they put bags on mirrors to protect them against birds landing and making a mess. (Find the Best RV Surge Protector)
This can be avoided by covering the mirror with a bag. However, once more, this is done when the RV or automobile is stationary and not moving.
What Should I Put on My Car Mirror?
This will depend on the kind of vehicle you drive and whether or not it has heated side mirrors.
First, nothing should be covering your mirrors while you are driving. You should have a clear field of view so that you can see what’s going on behind you.
This means that the mirrors need to be exposed while you are moving.
Second, you may cover the mirror with just about anything to protect it from cold weather and snow or ice forming on the door mirror.
Plastic bags and thick cloths or towels fastened with rubber bands are OK. Although, to prevent your mirrors from becoming covered in snow or ice, another barrier of defense can be provided.
A car cover that completely covers your vehicle, including the mirrors, is what you should purchase if you wish to hide pedestrians’ views into your vehicle or block UV rays once you are parked up.
These covers will stop any car thief looking through your window, and they can often deter them from breaking in, or trying to search for something valuable.
These covers will protect against dangerous UV rays by protecting your car from prolonged exposure to the sun.
In the winter, these covers may just need a shake or two to remove snow and ice, yet your car will be free from ice and clean.
Covering a Side Mirror While Driving?
State rules may always differ, but mostly, you must have a wide field of vision while driving.
While the wording may differ, you can find many of the legislation goes as such:
Every commercial vehicle with a capacity of 1/2 ton or more that travels on the state’s public highways must be fitted with two mirrors, one on each side, that can be adjusted to give the driver a clear view of the road behind the vehicle.
The “clear view” is the crucial part of that quotation.
There would never be a need for you to drive with bags blocking your side-view mirrors.
Bags on mirrors while driving don’t stop the light; the answer here is that most hit you from your rear-view mirror. Putting a bag on this could also get you in trouble.