How to Eliminate Blind Spots | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

How to Eliminate Blind Spots | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

You’re driving on the highway and approaching your off ramp, you signal from the middle lane and glance over at your passenger side mirror. It’s completely clear and you begin to change smoothly into the right hand land when a car suddenly comes out of nowhere.

Your hands jerk the steering wheel to the left, narrowly avoiding an accident. The other driver angrily honks at you and speeds away. This scene happens all over Vancouver each day. Why? Blind spots.

To avoid these near misses, smart drivers turn their head and look in the rear direction before changing lanes. While this technique is essential, many accidents also happen at the crucial moment when drivers are checking their blind spot. Example: Dozens of drivers are merging, a common and sudden stop in traffic in front can catch a driver completely off-guard who temporarily has his or her head turned. One way to combat this is to make quick glances instead of prolonged stares.

In tight situations where you need to make an emergency lane switch or veer out of harm’s way, you might not have the time to safely check your blind spot. Rather than rely on hope and luck, use proper mirror alignment to help eliminate blind spots.

The Most Common (and Wrong) Way of Aligning Side Mirrors

If you are like most drivers, your blind spots will be at your 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock position, just a bit out of your peripheral field of vision.

The reason a blind spot occurs is because most drivers position their side mirrors to see their own car. This alignment is too small and causes a loss of wider vision. This may lead to the dangerous scenario of potentially changing into a filled lane if you don’t check your blind spot.


The Proper Way to Align Side View Mirrors

By aligning mirrors to point away from the car, you are now using the full range of view that your mirrors will allow. This also means very little overlap between your car and the road.

Many drivers don’t use this method because they are too comfortable seeing their own car in the side view mirrors. It is a good point of reference, but it's not the safest. In the correct alignment, the side mirrors should not show the driver’s own car.

The best way to check that your mirrors are lined up properly is to get a friend to walk behind your car from left to right and seeing whether or not your friend smoothly passes from one mirror to another. If there is too much overlap, then your mirrors can be adjusted out more.

Lastly, have your helper walk toward your blind spots and make sure you can see him or her. Have them finally walk out of range of your blind spot and then check with your head to see where they are, as they should be right in view if you are staring at your side view mirror.

Testing should only take a few minutes, but it will improve your field of vision and make you a safer driver in the long run. Note that you should always turn your head and check your blind spots. Don't just rely on your newly aligned side mirros. Properly adjusted mirrors will make your shoulder glance quicker and more effective, as you will have more confidence in your road surroundings. You’ll find merging and lane changes much easier.



Penney Auto Body & Glass, Vancouver’s Auto Body Collision Repair Shop, is an expert in paint and body repair and cares about the welfare of your car and your personal safety. If you get involved in an automotive accident or you're a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft be sure to contact Penney Auto Body for your auto body, collision repair, and car painting services.

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