Blind spots could happen when drivers’ vision is obstructed preventing them to achieve complete awareness of the surrounding. Side mirrors, rear view mirrors and periphery visions help drivers to see more thoroughly. They usually set mirrors at specific angles to minimize blind spots. Drivers often need to merge into traffic and change lanes, these manoeuvres could become risky if drivers have obstructed vision. Merging and changing lanes require practice and precautions, including minimizing blind spots.
Here are drivers could do to minimize blind spots:
• Set the side mirror:
When drivers need to lean their head until they almost the windows, this could indicate that the side mirror isn’t set up properly. Both side mirrors should be ideally positioned so drivers only need to turn their heads slightly by using only their periphery visions. Drivers should be able to slightly see the rearmost parts of the car using the side mirrors. It should be noted that side mirrors are essential for parking and lane changing.
We could ensure that there’s no car in the lane that we plan to enter. Parallel parking can become immensely difficult if we need to lean hard to and turn our head too often.
• Set the rear view mirror:
The rear view mirror should be adjusted so that is aligned with the center of the rear windows. It means, when a car is no longer visible from the rear view mirror, it should be visible on any of the side mirror. This provides driver with continuity in vision and significantly minimize blind spots.
• Check and adjust mirrors after we start the car:
This can be a hassle in the beginning, but many drivers have made this a habit. Some pedestrians might bump the side mirror when the car is parked and occupants could check their faces with the rear view mirror before they got out of the car. When properly set up, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to sneak behind the car as drivers can benefit from the continuous scanning.
There are also a number of precautions that we need to consider:
• Don’t adjust mirrors while driving:
If we forget to adjust the mirrors before starting the car, we shouldn’t adjust them while driving. This could increase the risk of accident and negate the benefits of having these mirrors.
• Don’t look over shoulders too often:
Drivers who look over their shoulders too often could have improperly adjusted mirrors. It’s true that no matter how well positioned these mirrors are, we need to occasionally look to other directions. However, this shouldn’t be caused by improper mirror adjustments. We could look over our shoulder when the car stops and when we want to change lanes.
• Don’t put too many things on the back seat:
If we need to carry many things inside the car, we should try to distribute them so it is possible to see through the rear window clearly.
Although proper use of mirrors is necessary to reduce blind spots, we can’t depend on them completely. There could still be tree stumps and people with small bikes that are hidden from our view.