The Proper Adjustment for Side Mirrors
Your Side Mirror Position is Important
Accidents happen all the time. It’s why they’re called accidents, right? But, there are some accidents that could easily be avoided if only people were more willing to try new methods instead of sticking to old traditional ones that weren’t that effective in the first place. And, the road would probably be so much safer if only all drivers took the time and made the effort to find out how to properly use all the safety features of their car. Neglecting your side mirrors is one of those issues.
One of the most common practices that result in avoidable mishaps is incorrect positioning of side and rear-view mirrors. Maybe it has a little bit to do with the name given to it. But just because it’s called a mirror doesn’t mean it’s your own image (in this case, your car) that you should see on it.
Several years back, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) published a paper citing a recommendation on how car mirrors should be positioned. Supposedly, your side mirrors should be adjusted far outward, enough to make their viewing angle slightly overlap that of your rear-view mirror. Done correctly, this should eliminate your car’s blind spots so that you can change lanes without having to constantly glance over your shoulder to make sure it’s safe to do so. Accordingly, this could have helped prevent countless road accidents.
How to set up your mirrors properly
Ideally, your rear-view mirror should allow you to see what is coming up from behind you. To complement this, your side mirrors should allow you to see what you aren’t able to see on your rear-view mirror. To achieve these viewing angles, here’s what to do.
Set up your Rear View Mirror
You should be able to see your entire rear window from the driver’s seat. You’ll know it’s positioned correctly if you are able to see your entire rear window view by moving only your eyes, not your head.
Set up your Left Side Mirror
Sitting on the driver’s seat, lean your head all the way to your left until it touches the window. From this position, adjust your left side-view mirror until you are able to see just the back corner of your car.
Set up your Right Side Mirror
Sitting on the driver’s seat, lean your head to the right until it is aligned with the center of your car (i.e. between the two front seats or just above the center of your dashboard). From this position, adjust your right side-view mirror until you can see only the rear corner of the passenger side.
By adjusting your mirrors to these positions, this is what’s supposed to happen: As a car approaches you from behind, you should see it in the center of your rear-view mirror. As it gets closer, let’s say, closer to your left, you should see the car moving to the left side of your rear-view mirror, then your left-side mirror, and finally to your left side vision. If this is what happens, it means you do not have any blind spots and a passing car will never completely disappear from your view since it will always be visible in either or both of your mirrors, or in your peripheral vision.
Welcome Your New Side Mirror View
Being scared to try something new is not unusual. However, you should try to find a way to get over such fear, especially if the change is supposed to result in something better.
Repositioning your mirrors might be a change that you aren’t willing to embrace. Think about it, though. No new technique to eliminate blind spots while driving has come up since SAE released their recommendation. And, many driving experts have attested to its effectiveness. Besides, you can always test how it works first.
Before getting back on the road with your updated settings, try observing by parallel parking on a street, then watch closely how passing cars move from your mirrors to your peripheral vision. Once you become familiarized with the transition, you are now ready to test your new mirror settings on the road. And you will likely be safer for it.
Big Sky Collision Center Encourages Safety
Our ultimate goal would be that there are no more crashes. That would likely drive us out of work, but it would ensure that people are safe. Take our safety tips to heart, drive safely, and always be aware. If something bad does happen, suppose you hit a deer, you’re rear-ended, hail damage dents your car, or something along those lines happens, then don’t worry because we can get your car fixed up and safe for the road once again.
Don’t forget, even if your car isn’t dented, we do auto detailing in Billings!