Blind spots are dangerous, to say the least. A driver can only drive on the information he's given, and sometimes that information is wrong, and you or somebody else pays the price in medical bills and higher auto insurance.
However, most mirrors aren't optimized for driving. There are many reasons for this: mirrors can be knocked out of whack by minor bumps, played with by passengers, or reset by the driver to make up for another mirror. For example, a common problem is a car stuffed full of your friend's stuff to drive to his new apartment. You've blocked the rear-view mirror, so you adjust the driver's side view to make up for it, and you forget to adjust it back.
|If you’re seeing this much of your car, you’ve got a problem.
This happens all the time, and most of the time, people just don't notice. It's a bit like the small noise you hear that you decide is just a trick of your mind, which turns out to be the first warning before a major problem that leaves your car in the shop for weeks; it escapes your attention and only comes clear in hindsight. It's especially problematic because the most common blind spots are toward the back of the car, on either side, meaning that drivers changing lanes will sometimes drive right into somebody who thought they were absolutely visible.
Fortunately, we'll lay out how to get rid of your blind spots. It's simple and you can do it anywhere. Best of all, it'll take less than five minutes.
For the Driver's Side Mirror: Do this parked next to traffic, to give you a good test. Place your head against the driver's side window. Adjust the mirror until you can just barely see your car on the very edge. Settle back into the driver's seat and look at the mirror.
Where before you probably saw a big slice of your car and about half of the lane beyond, you should now see all of the traffic coming behind you!
|Just a sliver of the car should be showing when you have your head against the window.
For the Passenger Mirror: Lean out into the middle of the cabin, as far as possible. Adjust the mirror again, to place just a sliver of your car visible. You should see similar results.
Rear-View Mirror: You don't need us for this one. Just adjust it so that you can see out the back.
And a few tips:
- Keep your mirrors aligned! If your friend uses the rear-view to check her makeup, make sure you get the mirror back in place immediately.
- Never block your rear view. No matter how much your buddy pleads, more moving trips are better than a smash-up.
- Keep your mirrors clean: a little Windex will be just fine.
- And of course, always use your turn signal and check carefully: don't just barrel into one lane or around a corner.
Safe driving, and remember: keep those mirrors where you can see them.