Most of us have been guilty of this from time to time – hanging things from the rearview mirror. It might be something as simple as a car freshener, or it could be multiple items. Most of us have seen drivers with so many things hanging from the rearview mirror that it’s a wonder they can see out the windshield at all. Is it dangerous to hang things from rearview mirrors? The short answer is yes - very - but why is it dangerous?
The question of visibility
The first and most obvious reason it’s dangerous to hang things from the rearview mirror is that it reduces visibility for the driver. Even something as small as a car freshener blocks some portion of the view out of your windshield. This makes it much more likely that you’ll be involved in accident simply because you didn’t see the other driver.
If an accident does occur and the investigating officer determines that you should have seen the other person but couldn’t because of the items hanging from your rearview mirror, it will be ruled your fault. Additionally, it may actually be illegal to hang anything from the rearview mirror depending on your location.
The problem of weight
Another reason that it’s not a good idea to hang things on your rearview mirror is that every ounce of weight you add puts additional strain on the mirror’s mount. Your mirror is glued to the windshield and while that glue is strong and designed to last the life of a vehicle, it’s only designed to support the weight of the mirror and housing. If you add additional weight, the strain could eventually cause the glue to fail and your mirror will fall off. This leaves you without a rearview mirror at all until you have it replaced.
As you can see, it’s never a good idea to hang things from your rearview mirror. Keep your view unobstructed and your mirror safe from too much weight.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is It Dangerous to Hang Something From the Rearview Mirror? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.