Have you ever wondered why you are constantly hounded to develop your ability to use your car mirrors before you are handed a driver’s license? The reason is simple. The better you are able to use your car mirrors, the better you become at driving.
Let us make it clear here that your car mirrors rank among one of the most important safety features on/in your car. Without your car windows, you would only be able to see a fraction of the road at every given point in time and this increases the risk of getting involved in an accident.
While constantly looking to your left and right as you use the car mirrors might strike you as a bit awkward, it is a habit you need to perfect as you continue to hone your driving skills.
Every single time you drive, you need to ensure your car mirrors (side mirrors and rearview mirrors) are properly adjusted to give you clear visibility while driving. Here are tips to help you use your car mirrors properly.
How to Adjust Your Mirrors Properly
Adjusting your car mirrors isn’t just about turning and bending them in a different direction while you are driving? If you find yourself doing this, then you have clearly gotten it all wrong as you will see in the tips we’ll be sharing in the lines that follow.
Get Into the Driver’s Seat
When you get into the driver’s seat, you must ensure that the seat and the steering are positioned in a way that makes you comfortable. If you do not feel comfortable while in the driver’s seat, then feel free to adjust the steering and the seat until you find it comfortable.
Such a position should give you clear access to the accelerator, the brake pedal and the gear shifter.
Adjust Your Rear-View Mirror
Before you begin driving, you must adjust your rearview mirror as many times as you want until you can see the middle of your back windshield without moving your head.
When you perfect this, you will be able to quickly switch from looking at the road in front of you to the road behind you without necessarily moving or turning your body.
Locate the Buttons and Levers to Adjust the Side Mirrors
A lot of newer models of cars have buttons and levers on the driver’s side of the door that controls the side mirrors. This function is designed to be done electronically.
For older car models, you will need to manually adjust the side mirrors by either using your hands or by using a lever
Prioritise the Driver’s Side View Mirror
Once you get into the driver’s seat, start by adjusting the mirror by your side of the door. When this is done, sit comfortably in the driver’s seat and then look into the mirror.
When you are in the driver’s seat, you need to be able to see the road behind you as well as a little bit of the side of the car.
Adjust the Mirror on the Passenger Side
If your car model is not designed to allow you to adjust the side mirror on the passenger side of the car while you are in the driver’s seat, then you will need to move to the passenger’s seat to adjust it. Ensure the side mirror is properly adjusted on the passenger side before you drive off.
Do a Double Check of All the Mirrors
After you have adjusted both side mirrors as well as the rearview mirrors, you should sit in the driver’s seat and look into each of the mirrors to be sure that they have all been properly adjusted.
Start with the side mirror on the driver’s side of the car and then move to the mirror on the passenger side. When these check out, you can then check the rearview mirror. Ensure you get a proper view of everything behind you before you drive off.
Check the Side Mirrors Before Speed Adjustment
It’s okay to have a need to suddenly accelerate the car’s speed while driving. However, before you do it, we strongly suggest that you check the side mirrors as you might have another car trying to overtake you.
The same applies to when you decide to slow down. Always check the rearview mirror to ascertain the speed of the car behind you. If you slow down too suddenly, the driver behind you might not get a chance to get enough time to react.
Overtaking or Direction Change
You need to check your mirrors before you overtake another vehicle or switch lanes. You need to be sure there is no vehicle right beside you.
In some cases, drivers fail to check their mirrors for vehicles approaching them from behind before signalling to other drivers. This, therefore, makes it important to check your side mirrors before you make your decision to turn and then signal appropriately.
Opening Car Doors
This might sound not-so-important but you need to use your mirrors before you open the door of your car. It protects you from getting your car damaged as well as hurting pedestrians or other road users who might be approaching your car even when your car is parked.
Distance From Other Vehicles
According to safety experts, you need to check your side mirrors while driving in order to gauge the distance of your car from others.
For a safe driving experience, you should strive to maintain a proper driving distance by using the mirrors.
Towing a Vehicle
You need to always check both the rearview mirror as well as the side mirrors when towing a vehicle. This will help you avoid hitting the wheels of the car being towed against another vehicle.
Final Thoughts on Using Car Mirrors
A lot of newer models of cars come with blindspot technology that allows you to see parts of the car that you ordinarily wouldn’t see while in the driver’s seat.
For clarity, the area around the vehicle that cannot be directly observed by the driver is often referred to as a blind spot.
If your car has a blind-spot warning system, it will alert you any time your car is moving too close to another object. We will, however, point out here that even if your car has this functionality, we strongly recommend that you have a quick glance at the side mirrors and the rearview mirror after checking the blind spot monitor just to be sure.
It is surprising how suddenly another vehicle can come up beside you and stay out of the driver visibility range. Using the car’s mirrors is always your safest option.
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