Gee, the stuff that goes viral on the internet, huh? Before we say another word, we want to inform everyone that this isn’t a clickbait article. We say that because the question of why put bags over car mirrors when traveling alone is sort of a controversial one.

It’s our goal to break this thing down and get to the bottom of the question and provide everyone with the REAL answer to it. What you’re going to find out is the real answer (or solution) to the question is going to have nothing to do with whether you’re alone or not.

We’re going to dive into the theories behind it, but let’s learn the main reason why you would want to put bags over your car mirrors, shall we? The main reason would be to protect the mirrors from snow and ice during the colder months if your vehicle isn’t covered or parked in a garage.

Oh, but that’s not where the fun part begins! And that’s also not the answer that makes the question very controversial. No, that comes in when it’s suggested that placing bags over your car mirrors when traveling alone could prevent a potential burglary from taking place.

Sure. Sure. That’s pretty much our response to that, and we were kind of stunned when researching this question to find THAT was the reason. Truthfully, the reason is for winter protection, but let’s briefly look at the origin of the question itself.

Where did why put bags over car mirrors when traveling alone originate?

Look, this answer isn’t foolproof but at least since December 2020, there have been online ads displaying a photo of a Ziplock bag covering the side-view mirror of a car. The ads would then make it seem as if they would explain a handy trick that drivers could then use because of it.

However, the ads would simply lead to other websites in which readers would be led to some lengthy slideshow articles explaining some really good life hacks. In other words, the ads were more or less just clickbait, and they didn’t explain the answer to the odd question of why put bags over car mirrors when traveling alone.

The true answer is to protect your mirrors against ice

fronzen car mirror

When it comes down to it, as we mentioned earlier, this right here is the reason. As Bob Vila (the website) points out, one of the hazards of winter is ice, and it can have negative effects on your vehicles. While it’s always going to be safest for your vehicle to either park it in an enclosed garage or covered carport, that may not be an option for you.

So, that’s where this trick comes in handy as you can simply slip on some plastic bags to both your side-view mirrors. In addition to protection, the plastic covering on the mirrors will help to keep most of the snow and ice from sticking to make those early mornings a lot less irritating. It’s not as if you’ll need to place waterproof bags on your mirrors or anything like that as simple Ziplock bags can do the trick.

This can go a long way to preventing your side-view mirrors from potentially freezing and even cracking. However, is it really necessary to do so? I’ve personally never covered my car mirrors and I do experience winter climates for several months (because winter always wants to overstay its welcome).

*Knock on wood* I’ve yet to have issues with my car mirrors freezing or cracking due to ice and snow, but that doesn’t mean this idea is unnecessary. The reality of the situation is if ice does get on your mirrors and you need to remove it, problems can arise if you don’t do it correctly.

The good news is making a homemade de-icer that can get the job done in a quick and simple fashion is not that tricky at all. All you’re going to need is some vinegar, rubbing alcohol, water, and a spray bottle that you can combine everything in.

Wait, we have more good news. You can use vinegar or rubbing alcohol, but you don’t need them both. Basically, you’re going to want to combine either two parts rubbing alcohol or two parts vinegar with one part water. Combine into a spray bottle and make sure to mix it up well.

From there, go ahead and liberally spray the solution on your mirrors to get rid of the ice. That right there should do the trick. However, to better avoid this from being an issue, you can get used to covering your side-view mirrors with bags during the winter months when the possibility of snow and ice are present.

What about the theoretical answer?

man breaking into car

One of the ideas is that placing bags over your car mirrors will prevent car thieves from being able to steal your vehicles. The only problem with that is the fact that it makes no sense whatsoever. We read one article that was attempting to justify the reasoning and we have to admit, the article itself isn’t too absurd.

There are some halfway valid points, but, at the end of the day, if a car thief wants to steal your car, a little plastic bag on the mirror is probably not going to change their mind. One of the halfway decent theories is that the plastic bag will prevent people from being able to see if they’re any valuables in your vehicle.

Yet, again, a car thief could always just look inside of the vehicle to see if there’s anything they want inside. It’s not as if they’ll be worried about drawing extra attention to themselves because if they attempt to break into the vehicle, the attention’s going to be there during that point if other people are in the vicinity.

And do you really think that a little plastic bag is going to deter someone who wants to steal the Audi Q7 or Hyundai Santa Fe that you happen to be driving?

What about while you’re driving?

man driving a car with one hand

No. Just no. State laws are always going to vary, but most will require that you have a clear field of vision while you’re driving. Take the Michigan Legislature as a great example.

“Every commercial vehicle of 1/2 ton capacity or more, operating upon the public highways of this state, shall be equipped with 2 mirrors, 1 on each side, adjusted so that the operator shall have a clear view of the highway behind the commercial vehicle.”

The key phrase in that quote is the “clear view.” And the reality is there’d never really be a reason for you to need to cover your side-view mirrors with bags while you drive. Unless, you know, you want to make driving harder on yourself (for some reason).

Final thoughts

Of all the content that we have on the site, this right here might have been the oddest topic that we’ve detailed. While there’s a legit, logical answer to this question as it turns out, the question of why put bags over car mirrors when traveling alone is generally considered on the web to be a clickbait question.

After all, it should be re-worded to, “Why put bags over your car mirrors?” Adding the “when traveling alone” part, after doing some research, seems to be the part that indicates it could potentially save someone’s life or save their vehicle.

The fact is, protecting your side-view mirrors from ice and snow build-up by covering them with bags while your car is parked during the winter season is the only real reason to do so.

Well, we’re glad we got that cleared up and if one of your friends or family members ever brings this up, you can set them straight now too!

Talking about ice has us thinking of a previous article that we’ve written that you may have an interest in. It has to do with 12-volt ice makers. Kind of ironic as this post talked about the dangers of ice, but that one’s about making ice!