Why Put Bags Over Car Mirrors When Traveling Alone?

People usually don’t feel safe when traveling alone, so they try to do various things to make themselves feel more secure. They also try to protect their vehicles at the same time. Because of this, many myths have been created over the years regarding those who love to travel alone.

One of them is that putting a plastic bag over car mirrors will protect their car. By doing this, people think that they will reduce the possibility of breaking into the vehicle because they can’t see whether there are valuable things in the car.

Others claim that this is nonsense and that putting plastic bags over car mirrors will protect them from bad weather conditions. To see what is actually true, we have researched this topic in detail and will explain to you the reasons why people cover car mirrors with bags. So let’s start!

Why Put Bags Over Car Mirrors When Traveling Alone? Usually, people put bags over car mirrors to protect the mirrors from snow and freezing or to block the sun’s reflection. However, there are a lot of false reasons that don’t make sense, such as that they protect the car from burglars, keeping the side mirrors clean, and the like.

As there are various stories about whether putting plastic bags over car mirrors will protect their car, it is very hard to state the real reason for this. In the next lines, find out if putting a plastic bag over car mirrors will increase safety or if it will help protect your vehicle from bad weather.

Why Are There Plastic Bags in Car Mirrors?

People often put plastic bags over car mirrors because they are disturbed by the lights of other vehicles while driving and the sunlight. It should be noted that this is not allowed in most states because it represents a great security risk. 

Accidents can easily occur when cars are crossing from one lane to another, as well as dangerous chain collisions due to sudden braking.

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However, if a plastic bag is placed on the car mirror while the car is parked, it usually means something is wrong with the car. Drivers typically do this when, due to a sudden breakdown on the road, they have to leave the vehicle and go to look for help. In this case, the plastic bag should ensure that the car is not towed away by the towing service.

Regarding RVs (Recreational vehicles) and numerous passenger vehicles, the legitimate reason for putting plastic bags on the windows is to protect the vehicle’s interior from UV rays and extreme temperatures.

Why Put Bags Over Car Mirrors When Traveling Alone

While the reasons we listed above make sense why people put bags over car mirrors, you must have heard a few more in a conversation with a friend, relative, or neighbor that does not make any sense. Also, you surely come across such reasons when searching on Google about this topic.

There are many myths about why people cover car mirrors with bags, especially when traveling alone. You will often hear that putting a plastic bag over a car mirror will keep the car windows clean or prevent UV light from disturbing you while driving.

Some say this will prevent insects and other bugs from entering your vehicle. Also, it is often mentioned that with the help of plastic bags on car mirrors, you can distract a thief who is looking to break into your vehicle.

If these reasons sound like a bunch of nonsense to you, you’re right. They are exactly that! They are spread by people who fill in empty space on their web pages or by those who have no bad intentions but just heard an unverified story from a source they consider to be reliable, even though it is not.

Don’t be fooled. There are really just a few justified reasons for putting plastic bags on car mirrors, and they are mainly related to situations when you want to protect the vehicle from negative weather influences. This is supported by the fact that driving with plastic bags over car windows is prohibited and that the police can write you a ticket for such behavior.

Are Ziplock Bags Good on Car Mirrors?

When it comes to Ziplock bags, they can be used on car windows and side mirrors. However, this only applies to vehicles that are parked. By putting a ziplock bag over side mirrors, you can protect them.

For example, this practice is common among owners of older vehicles in the winter months. When you place Ziplock bags over the windows while the vehicle is parked and does not have heated side mirrors, you will prevent freezing and avoid scraping mirrors in the early winter morning.

When it comes to RVs, which are often parked away in nature for long periods, their owners put Ziplocks on the windows to drive away the birds.

Birds are very attracted to the glass surface because they see their reflection in it, and they start attacking it, which can ultimately damage the window. This way, the windows are scratched, reducing their functionality.

What Should I Put on My Car Mirror?

It is a good idea to put a bag on the car mirror when the vehicle is parked if you feel the need to protect the vehicle’s interior from UV radiation. But you should know that there are much better options.

One of them is car covers with which you can protect the entire vehicle surface in one go, not only the mirrors. Car covers will simultaneously protect your vehicle from overheating when exposed to high temperatures for a long time.

If your concern is snow or low temperatures, it is not a bad idea to cover the mirrors on a parked vehicle with a plastic bag. Although for this situation, we also recommend a car cover or some other fabric available to you. Like an old t-shirt or a thin towel.

Fabric is always a better choice when protecting glass surfaces from freezing. But as we pointed out, if Ziplock is one thing you have, it will do the job.

Related article: How to Stop Car Windows From Fogging Up in Winter

You must know there is no justification for placing plastic bags over car mirrors while driving. Also, this is not allowed in most states. What can happen is that you get stopped by the police and get fined for endangering yourself and other road users. The exception is if the side mirror is damaged.

Then you can place a plastic bag over it so that you do not endanger your safety or the safety of passengers when driving to the car repair shop. It is also important to note that putting a plastic bag over car mirrors will not help much if someone wants to rob your car. It can even have the opposite effect.

Thieves are familiar with the urban myth and what it means to place a bag over a car window. A plastic bag on a car window for them can only mean that it is an easy job because the vehicle belongs to a person who is far from home, alone, and with whom they will easily deal if caught in the act!

If you want to learn more about this topic, here is a YouTube video just for you:

Why Do Websites Promote Bags On Mirrors When Traveling Alone?

As we have already mentioned in this article, there are only a few legitimate reasons why you should put a plastic bag over car mirrors when traveling alone. However, many websites make a lot of false claims that do not make sense or have nothing to do with why mirrors should be covered when traveling alone.

The fact is that people who travel alone want to do everything they can to feel safer. That’s why many of them are searching on Google for tips on how to “travel alone”.

Clickbait websites put all sorts of articles that attract those who travel alone. Unfortunately, almost all of them do not really explain the real reason. Therefore, be careful and pay attention to these websites.

If you like to travel alone with your RV, be sure to read Can You Live in an RV Park All Year Long?

FAQ: People Also Ask

What does a bag on the front of a car mean?

When you see a vehicle with a plastic bag on the front, it is a sign that the vehicle is only parked, not abandoned. Most often, it is a situation in which someone’s car broke down, and he had to leave it on the side of the road to look for help.

Why should you always check your mirrors?

Car mirrors must always be visible to the driver for safety reasons and to spot another driver on the road who intends to do this in time. If you don’t use mirrors while driving to follow the signals of other vehicles, sooner or later, you will have a traffic accident. Therefore, keep an eye on them.

Final Words

Although there are legitimate reasons why people put plastic bags over car mirrors, most of them are made up. Still, these tips are related to parked vehicles and to situations where the vehicle is supposed to be protected from potential damage due to long-term exposure to rain, snow, or extreme temperatures.

However, it is forbidden to put bags over car mirrors while driving. By doing so, you can only get a fine for endangering other users on the road. Also, it is not recommended to put bags over car mirrors to protect against car thieves when traveling alone. For them, a bag over the window is just a flag that they have an easy job ahead of them. Car mirrors must always be clean and transparent to ensure safe driving.

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