Setting up your vehicle mirrors for defensive driving

vehicle mirrors

Setting up your vehicle mirrors for defensive driving is explained here. Properly set up mirrors provide you with a quick glance and no head movement, an awareness of what is on either side and in back of your vehicle at all times. We are responsible for the people and or pets we are transporting. We are responsible to our fellow drivers on the road. We need to anticipate what another driver may or may not do while driving, to avoid a collision. Defensive driving is a complex subject for future blogs.

Mirrors need to be adjusted once we are seated in the driver’s seat and seat belts are buckle. First set the rear view mirror in a position to see out as much of the rear window possible and as much viewable distance. When moving your eyes to look up at the mirror, there should be no neck movement. Become more conscious of your neck movement if this has become a habit for you. Just a quick eye movement when driving and you can see any speed demons coming up behind and you can focus on the road ahead again quickly.

Side view mirrors are probably the most under-utilized by most drivers. When set up properly, there is no need to turn your head when using your rear view and left side view mirrors only your right side view mirror will require some head turning to make lane changes. The driver side mirror, just like the rear view mirror needs to be viewable with just with eye movement. A quick glance is all you need to know what is along the left side of vehicle or behind you.

According to S.A.E. (Society of Automotive Engineers) to adjust the driver side mirror properly, lean your head against the driver side window and adjust the driver mirror so you see the tail end of your vehicle. This will now eliminate your left side blind spots. Most people set this mirror to see the tail end of their vehicle in normal driving position, creating blind spots.

According to S.A.E. (Society of Automotive Engineers) to adjust passenger side mirror properly lean your body so your head is positioned over the middle of the two front seats. Now adjust the passenger side mirror so that you see the tail end of your vehicle. This will now eliminate your right side blind spots. Most people set this mirror to see the tail end of vehicle in normal driving position, again creating blind spots.

When change lanes to your left or right and have been monitoring what is around you, you can change lanes easier and in a safer manner, all without turning your head except when using right side mirror, some head turning will be necessary.

Once your mirrors are set up correctly, when driving you will now notice that as vehicle move up or back along both sides of your vehicles you will see them switch from rear view to that side mirror and vice versa. The only issue would be if you have a peripheral vision issue and can’t see what is right next to you, then head turning will be always be required.