Eliminate Your Blind Spot!September 3, 2010 | in Defensive Driving Online
At one point or another, someone, a parent, concerned friend, or Driver’s Ed teacher, drilled into you the importance of checking your blind spot before changing lanes. I, for one, had a Driver’s Ed teacher who kept a large feather on the dashboard. If you failed to check the blind spot before changing lanes, she would hit you with the feather. I got the sense that she would much rather be beating me with a large stick; luckily, state law no longer advocates corporal punishment as an effective teaching technique.
However, the feather did teach me to check my blind spot religiously before changing lanes. In fact, I suspect that my constant head-swiveling would have probably resulted in an accident sooner or later. Luckily, I recently discovered the not-so-secret trick for eliminating the blind spot once and for all. I’m pleased to share this discovery today, in the hope of saving future generations of Driver’s Ed students the strange embarrassment of being beaten with a feather.
Whenever getting into a car in which you haven’t already adjusted the mirrors, follow these simple steps:
First, straighten your rear view mirror so that it reflects what is directly behind you. Don’t tilt this mirror to catch a side view. That’s why we have the aptly named side view mirrors.
Next, lean to your left until your head is just touching the window. Now, adjust your left-hand mirror so that you can only just see the side of your car. When you sit up, you shouldn’t be able to see the side of your car at all. While this may seem strange, remember that there is no real reason to keep checking in on how the side of your car is doing.
Finally, lean to the right, so that your head is aligned with the center of the car; the center is usually marked by the dome light or rear view mirror. Now, adjust your right hand mirror so that you can only just see the right side of your car.
You can check that your mirrors are aligned correctly when out on the road. Say that a car is approaching on the left. Watch the car in your rearview mirror; as soon as the car disappears from your rearview mirror, it should appear in the left hand mirror. When you can no longer see the car in the left-hand mirror, you should be able to see it in your peripheral vision. Follow the same procedure on the other side. If you notice a “gap” between mirrors, you should adjust the mirror position slightly. You may need to tilt a mirror up or down, depending on the height of your car.
You might need a few days to adjust to this mirror position. For example, you may flinch when changing lanes using only your mirrors. Don’t worry; no one will attack you with a feather. Once you’ve adjusted, you’ll find that this is a much safer and easier way to drive.
To view a video on this topic, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBj89kyTvWo.