Mirror Safety

Mirror Safety

Are Your Mirrors Properly Adjusted?

There actually is a wrong way and a right way. Properly adjusted mirrors will allow you to view vehicles in your rear‐view mirror. Those vehicles will transition to your side‐view mirrors and seamlessly move into your peripheral vision. If your mirrors are adjusted properly, other vehicles will not disappear from your mirrors until they are clearly visible in your peripheral vision.

Mirror adjustment is not just a matter of preference. There are quite a few opinions about mirror adjustment and most of them are wrong. Most drivers adjust their mirrors in a way that creates blind spots. There is a right way to do it. Let’s walk through the proper steps.

  • Let’s start inside your vehicle ‐ You should frame the rear window in your rear view mirror, and angle the mirror slightly toward the passenger side.
  • Now we can work on those exterior mirrors ‐ Let’s do the passenger’s side first. Sit comfortably in the driver’s seat and lean your head about four inches to the right. Adjust the mirror out until you can barely see the side of your vehicle in the left side of the mirror.
  • And the final adjustment ‐ Now, sit comfortably in the driver’s seat and lean your head about four inches to your left. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so you can barely see your vehicle in the right side of that mirror.

After these adjustments, sit in your normal driving position. As you look in the side mirrors, you will not see either side of your vehicle in these mirrors but you will have a better view of the road and other vehicles in your blind‐spot.

Also, there are a couple of other things to remember when turning or changing lanes. Always signal your intent to either change lanes or to make a turn, and always turn your head and look so you can be sure there are no vehicles in your blind spot. If you are currently using an improper adjustment, this will take a little getting used to.

Just remember, you will use the interior rear view mirror to see what is coming up from behind, while the exterior mirrors will reflect what is on either side of your vehicle.