Plastic bags stuck in car windows stranded on PA interstate
July 15, 2017 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Plastic bags stuck in car windows stranded on PA interstate?

I recently got back from a trip to Pennsylvania, and I noticed several cars along the way stopped on the shoulder of the interstate, each one with a plastic grocery-type bag jammed into the side window. What reason could there be for this?

I have not seen that anywhere else.
posted by dabug to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm from PA and have seen this plenty of places, but with other similar objects (shirts) that are flags that your car is broken down and not abandoned.
posted by DoubleLune at 4:30 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]

Yeah it's just people looking for something white to mark their car as broken down.
posted by brilliantine at 4:55 PM on July 15

I remember this as a suggestion from the Pennsylvanians who taught me to drive here. If your car breaks down for any reason, you pull over and put a piece of (preferably white) fabric at the top of a window to indicate that help is needed, and that you'll be back for the vehicle. I think this keeps state troopers from slapping "Abandoned Vehicle" stickers on these cars and having them towed away.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:55 PM on July 15

Ah, here it is, breakdown advice from the Pa. Turnpike website:

If your vehicle breaks down

Move your vehicle off the roadway to a safe location. Do not attempt to hitchhike.
Place a white handkerchief, or any bright colored cloth, on the radio antenna or car door facing traffic. If you break down at night, turn on the headlights and hazard lights.
In any event, remember to make some arrangement for the removal of your vehicle. Unattended vehicles left along the roadway will be removed after 24 hours. Vehicles that are impeding traffic will be removed even sooner.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:58 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]

I see it frequently in Virginia & North Carolina also. I never recall being officially told to do this. It just seems to be a bit of folk wisdom passed around from driver to driver.
posted by glonous keming at 5:21 PM on July 15

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