Safety & Accident

Safety Tip: Setting Mirrors for Safer Lane Changes

January 22, 2017

VIDEO: Reducing Blind Spots

Unsafe lane changes are a common cause of collisions, and a vehicle’s blind spots are often involved. Many of today’s vehicles come equipped with blind spot monitors, which help reduce this risk. But adjusting the mirrors properly can also greatly diminish blind spots.

AAA offers these tips to ensure mirrors are set in a way that reduces blind spots:

The inside mirror:

Adjust the inside mirror so you can see the entire rear window from the driver’s seat. You should have to move only your eyes, not your head, when using this mirror. Drivers 6 feet tall or taller may find it helpful to reposition the mirror upside down, if possible. This usually raises the bottom edge of the mirror about 1 to 2 inches.

Side-view mirrors

To adjust the driver’s side-view mirror, place your head against the left side window and set the mirror so you can just barely see the side of the vehicle in the mirror’s right side. To adjust the passenger’s side-view mirror, position your head so that it is just above the center console. Set the mirror so you can just barely see the side of the vehicle in the left side of the mirror. If the vehicle is not equipped with remote mirror-adjustment controls, you may need assistance when properly positioning this mirror.

This kind of mirror positioning might take a while to get used to, but many safety experts believe this approach greatly increases visibility of nearby vehicles. Still, drivers can’t rely solely on mirrors before they make a lane change.

“Remember, even properly positioned mirrors cannot eliminate all blind spots,” AAA advised. “To reduce risk, make a final check to the sides before attempting any lateral moves.”

To view a video on how to set mirrors properly, click on the photo or link below the headline. To view a video on how blind spot monitors work, you can click here.

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