What items have you hung from the rearview mirror of your car to make your ride more personalized? Fuzzy dice, pine-scented air fresheners, and graduation tassels are all classic choices. There are even charms marketed specifically as rearview mirror decorations. But despite the social norm of hanging things from the rearview mirror, this is something you probably want to avoid doing. Here are three reasons why.
The first reason not to hang anything from your rearview mirror is also the most obvious – it could block your view out of the windshield, making it a safety hazard. A big, bulky item swinging around right at eye level? What a distraction!
If your fuzzy dice swing in the wrong direction at just the right moment, you could end up turning into oncoming traffic and not know it until it’s too late. Hanging an object from your rearview mirror increases your risk of getting in an accident, which means you should ban this practice right away.
Most rearview mirrors are attached to the windshield with nothing more than heavy-duty glue. This is more than enough to keep the mirror in place under normal circumstances, but if you hang something big and heavy on it, the glue could loosen over time.
Imagine driving down the road, and suddenly, your fuzzy dice and rearview mirror come crashing down. The surprise could cause you to panic and lose control of your car, setting you up to get in an accident. Once you recover from the initial shock, you must then worry about fixing the rearview mirror before you can drive your car safely again.
Different states have slightly differing laws about hanging items from the rearview mirror. Colorado Statutes Title 42 subsection (4) states:
No vehicle shall be operated upon any highway unless the driver’s vision through any required glass equipment is normal and unobstructed.
An annotation at the bottom of Colorado Statutes Title 42 states:
An air freshener hanging from a rearview mirror is not an automatic violation of subsection (4). The air freshener must actually obstruct the driver’s vision to be a violation.
The law in California is a little more specific but still left up to interpretation. California Vehicle Code 26708 subdivision (a)(2) states:
A person shall not drive a car with any object or material placed, affixed, or installed on the vehicle which obstructs or reduces the driver’s clear view through the windshield or side windows.
Something as small as an air freshener or graduation tassel may not pose a problem based on this statute. However, if a police officer has reason to believe an item hanging from the rearview mirror is obstructing your view through the windshield, you could be pulled over and cited.
Clearly, the line is blurred between what does and doesn’t constitute an obstructed view. Whether you’re driving in Colorado, California, or another state, just play it safe and avoid hanging anything from your rearview mirror.
In the end, safety and obeying the law are your top priorities on the road. That’s why you should bring your car to Scott’s Fort Collins Auto for an oil change and tune-up whenever your vehicle requires these services.
Our mechanics are experienced, our services are top-notch, and our prices are competitive. The next time you need work done on your car, stop by Scott’s in Fort Collins. You can also schedule an appointment ahead of time by calling us at (970) 682-4202.