● Putting bags over car side mirrors when traveling solo can help to prevent theft
● It’s a simple way to help protect your property while on the road
● By obscuring your view, potential thieves are less likely to be able to see what’s in your car and make off with your belongings
● There are potential downsides to putting bags over your car mirrors as well
There is a lot of advice out there for people who are traveling alone, and one of the latest trends is talking about putting bags over your car mirrors. The question is why, and is it actually a good idea?
Placing plastic bags over your car mirrors when traveling alone can help obscure the view of potential thieves and keep the glare from headlights out of the car when you stop for a nap. It can also be a great way to signal for assistance if you get stuck.
These are just some of the reasons why, and in this guide, we will take you through the rest, as well as whether or not it’s a sensible choice to make.
The Benefits of Putting Bags Over Car Mirrors When Solo Traveling
There are some potential BENEFITS to putting bags over your car mirrors when you are on the road and traveling alone. Some of the most common ones are as follows:
Keep Snow off the Mirrors When Parked
This is one of the most COMMONLY cited reasons for doing it, and if you live in an area where snowfall is common, then it can be a good idea. It can also help prevent ice buildup on the mirrors, which CAN make them difficult to see through.
Pro Tip: Keep an ice scraper in the car with you at all times because even if your mirrors are covered, your windshield will need to be cleared.
Keep Dirt and Debris off the Mirrors When Driving
Another good reason to place bags over car mirrors is to keep dirt and debris from building up on them. This can be especially useful if you’re DRIVING on unpaved roads or if there has been a lot of construction in the area.
It Makes it Harder for Thieves to See Valuables
If you are traveling alone, one of the BIGGEST concerns is often theft. By putting bags over your car mirrors, you make it more difficult for potential thieves to see what is inside your car, making it LESS likely that they will target you.
Pro Tip: You can also cover the rearview mirror with a plastic bag. Rear-view mirrors are a common way for thieves to look inside the car.
It Can Help Reduce Glare When Night Driving
If you are driving at night, the last thing you want is to be BLINDED by oncoming traffic. By putting bags over your car mirrors, you can help reduce the glare from headlights, making it easier to see the road.
Pro Tip: In this case, it is best to use a ziplock bag as a mirror cover for your car side mirror. A plastic bag has no visibility.
To Block Incoming Light When Sleeping in Your Car
If you are traveling and need to take a NAP, one of the best ways to do so is to pull over and sleep in your car. However, if the SUN is shining directly into your car, it can be difficult to get some rest. By putting bags over car mirrors, you can help block out the light, making it easier to sleep.
Pro Tip: A plastic bag can be great for blocking harmful UV rays, and you can add one to your rearview mirrors for additional protection.
To Signal You Need Assistance (White Bag)
If you find yourself needing help, putting a white bag over your car mirror can be a GOOD way to signal for assistance. This is often used by people who have broken down on the side of the road and need a tow truck or other assistance.
Pro Tip: If you break down, staying in the car is safest while waiting for help.
To Let Road Users Know the Car Isn’t Abandoned
If you’re going to be away from your car for a SIGNIFICANT period of time, it can be helpful to put a black bag over the car mirror. This is often done in areas where car break-ins are common, as it helps to signal that the car is not abandoned.
Is it Safe to Place Bags On Car Mirrors?
Honestly, while we see why some people place bags over their mirrors, we don’t necessarily think it helps a lot. It might not be the SAFEST thing to do, especially for your visibility.
Visibility is Essential While Driving
You need to be able to see out of your car mirrors while driving, especially at NIGHT, and that can be difficult if they are covered. It’s also WORTH noting that car mirrors are there for a reason, and they help with your car’s aerodynamics.
Pro Tip: Some say a plastic covering can protect glass cleaner on the mirror when traveling solo, but there is actually no point in protecting it.
There’s No Evidence it Deters Thieves
While it MIGHT make it harder for thieves to see what’s in your car, there’s no evidence that it actually DETERS them from breaking in. In fact, if you have valuables in your car, it might make it MORE likely that they will target you.
How Can You Actually Stay Safe While Travelling Alone?
If you are traveling alone, there is other advice that you can take to help stay safe while you are on the road. None of it contains the use of bags, but it is IMPORTANT to follow.
Even with more than one person, these can be handy tips to keep in mind. You can stay safe by making sure you:
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Never drink and drive (or do drugs and drive)
- Keep your car locked when you’re not in it
- Carry pepper spray with you for self-defense
- Do not pull over at gas stations in desolate areas late at night.
- Thieves often rob cars that are stopped at red lights, so to increase safety, turn off your radio while you’re waiting. That way, would-be thieves can’t tell where you are and approach your car.
- Both men and women should park in well-lit areas to avoid being targeted by criminals.
- Avoid using ATMs after dark
- If you use cash instead credit cards, then thieves can only take the amount of cash that you have on hand.
While putting bags over car mirrors might seem like a good idea, we DON’T think it’s actually that helpful. It can reduce your visibility while driving, and there’s no evidence that it actually deters thieves.
If you are traveling alone, there are OTHER precautions you can take to stay safe. Always wear a seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, keep your car locked, carry pepper spray, and park in well-lit areas.
Following these tips will help you stay safe while on the road, and we hope you have found this guide helpful.