Every car has ‘em – wheels, engine, doors, seats, mirrors and blind spots. Blind spots are the areas around your car that you can’t see with your rear and side-view mirrors. They most often lurk at the rear quarter of a vehicle on both sides and in areas in front of and behind the vehicle that are too low to be visible.
Shedding Some Light on Blind Spots
Blind spots can’t be completely eliminated in all vehicles, but they can be diminished if you properly adjust your mirrors. Many of us have a tendency to adjust side mirrors so the rear of our own vehicle is in the mirror frame. That’s a no-no. Your side mirrors should widen the view of your rear-view mirror, not overlap it.
Hindsight is 20-20
According to Partnership for Safe Driving, here’s how you should adjust your mirrors and test for blind spots:
First, adjust the rear-view mirror to do exactly that – give you a view directly to the rear. Position it so that it best covers your view straight out the rear window. Don’t bother tilting it to one side or the other to assist with your view of traffic to either side of your car. That’s what the side mirrors are for. Lean your head to the left towards your side window and adjust the left side mirror so that you can just barely see the left side of your car. You should NOT be able to see the side of your car when your head is perfectly upright. For your right side mirror, lean your head to the right towards the middle of the car and follow the same guidelines described above.
Check for blind spots:
While driving along a fourlane road in the right lane, note a vehicle in the left lane coming up to pass you from behind. Without moving your head, glance in the rear-view mirror and follow it as it approaches your car in the left lane. Just before it disappears from your view in the rear-view mirror, glance to the left side mirror. There it is. Now follow that vehicle in the side mirror as it begins to pass you. Then, just before it disappears from the side mirror, you should see it with your peripheral vision.
Notice that without even turning your head, you never had a blind spot. Then try it with the right side mirror. If there is a blind spot for even a fraction of a second, your side mirror adjustment needs some fine-tuning.