Why Put Bags Over Car Mirrors When Traveling Alone?

Forget about it. If you want to advertise that you are traveling alone, just go ahead and do just that. You can put plastic bags over your mirrors but not just when you are traveling alone. There are logical reasons why you should protect your mirrors. Advertising that you are alone is not one of them.

There are certain times when you should put plastic bags over your mirrors. When you are alone or when you are driving are not those times. This should be done when you are camping in the winter or colder months of the year to protect the glass from cracking.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. No one seems to know where this urban myth started but it is not something you do when you are traveling by yourself. Unless you are camping in winter and want to protect your mirrors from any damage.

Why are There Plastic Bags in Car Windows?


The most logical reason you see windows with plastic bags is for protection. Some people place plastic bags over their windows to protect the interior of their vehicles from UV rays.

This is the same reason why people put tire covers over their RV or trailer tires. They do not want the sun to shorten the lifespan of their personal and expensive items. Also, plastic bags over the windows when the weather turns colder helps protect them from freezing and cracking.

Another reason would be to keep the sun from reflecting back into the living area of your RV and causing annoying light distractions. In some states, there is another important reason why you see plastic bags in the windows of cars.

It is supposed to be the proper signal to use to tell authorities that the car is broken down and has not been abandoned. This is not a nationwide signal and if you do it in some states, they will not understand why you left the plastic in the window.

But be careful, not everyone responds to these signals in a safe or courteous manner. One story has it that a passerby used the plastic bag as a toilet and tied the filled bag back onto the car when they were done.

Why Put Bags Over Car Mirrors When Traveling Alone


We have looked at the following reasons supporting this point but none of them make any sense whatsoever. Other than putting out a flag that you are alone, placing a bag over your mirrors does not stop any theft attempt, mugging, or more serious criminal intent.

We will give you the many reasons why some people say to do this so that you can see the ridiculous mentality behind such thinking.

1. To protect glass cleaner and other cleaning solutions from leaking out while traveling.

2. A thief could use the mirror to see if you have valuables in your car then break in to steal them.

3. Blocks the glare from the headlights from the cars behind you

4. Block incoming light from light poles or, etc., when parked and getting a nap

5. To hide objects that may fall into your car while driving.

6. To avoid reflecting the sun’s rays and giving yourself a sunburn

7. To keep dirt and debris off your mirrors

8. Block out sunlight

We did not make these reasons up. You can find them at this link. Their list of benefits for doing this is even more ridiculous. Most websites that say ‘when traveling alone’ never provide any reasons why you should do it.

Those titles are merely clickbait used to get you to click on their websites and look at videos or other advertisements. There is no legitimate reason to put a Ziploc bag on your mirrors just for when you are traveling alone.

There are some for when you are traveling in different weather conditions but you have to be careful when you do this. Most states have laws that state you need to have a clear field of vision when driving and covering your mirrors with plastic bags when driving interferes with that requirement.

You could get a ticket if the police officer who spots you is in a bad mood. Even if it is a clear plastic Ziploc bag.

Ziplock Bag on Car Mirror


There are some websites that do promote this travel idea. They do provide better and more logical reasons than the ones we listed above. These reasons only should apply when you are parked and not driving.

One reason given for this trick is to keep snow and ice off your side mirrors. If you grew up in an era where cars did not have heated side mirrors, then you understand the importance of this trick. It saves you a little work and protects the mirror from freezing and cracking.

But when you are driving this is not an issue. Snow does not stick that well to moving objects and neither does ice. Oh and, putting a bag over your side mirrors does not stop anyone from looking inside your car to see if you have valuables there.

The 6 other windows that are on your car and a lot larger than a side mirror will let them do that anyways. Some RV owners say they do this when they are parked to keep the birds from landing on the mirror, looking at themselves and thinking there is another bird in front of them

When they see that image, the birds tend to peck at it. Their sharp beaks can break your mirror. Putting a bag over the mirror helps stop that from taking place. But again, this is done when the RV or car is parked, not when it is in motion.

What Should I Put on My Car Mirror?


This will depend on the type of car or truck you own and if it has heated side mirrors or not. First, when you are driving, you should not have anything over your mirrors. You are supposed to have a clear field of vision for things taking place behind you. That means that the mirrors should be uncovered all the time you are in motion.

Second, you can put just about anything over the mirror to protect it from frost or snow. Thick cloths or towels secured by rubber bands are okay, as are plastic bags. The purpose is to provide another line of defense so that your mirrors do not get covered with snow or ice.

If you want to block people’s vision into your car or stop UV rays, you should buy a car cover that covers the entire car including the mirrors. This will stop anyone from casually looking into your car’s interior and seeing what you have left inside.

These covers will also block harmful UV rays. Plus, they will help stop your car from heating up by being in the sun too long. Car covers can be secured in place so that the wind does not blow them away and to prevent thieves from stealing the cover.

Why do Websites Say use Plastic Bags To Cover Your Mirrors When Traveling Alone


The words ‘traveling alone’ are key words to help get you to click on the link. Once you do this, you do not get any good reason why you should do this trick. Those words are meant to lure you in so you can see what the people behind the website are selling.

While some websites may quote Bob Villa, a home improvement expert, and say that it keeps ice off your mirrors, keep in mind that Mr. Villa is a home improvement expert and not a car expert. To keep snow and ice off your mirrors is only done when parked.

If you are a female traveling alone, you do not want to advertise that fact. It is best to not put a plastic bag over your mirrors when you are alone. It is a key signal that you are vulnerable.

The only time you should do this trick is in winter and you are parked in a safe spot with lots of lighting around you. Or everyone else around you have parked their cars and placed plastic bags over their mirrors.

When you see website URLs using those words, click on them with caution. Most of the time they are just clickbait titles.

Some Final Words

Before you drive make sure you know the rules of the road. Keep your side mirrors clear so you can see what is happening around you at a glance. If you are worried about glare, side mirrors are adjustable and you can move them so they do not reflect the light and still see what is going on.

Plastic bags only really work when you are parked.

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