When you’re behind the wheel, you have to pay attention to what other drivers are doing. This is not limited to those in front, you also have to pay attention to drivers behind you and often to either side as well. That’s why automakers include three mirrors on your vehicle – two side view mirrors and a rear-view mirror. However, all cars suffer from blind spots. This is pretty much what the name implies – an area that you can’t see easily from the driver’s seat. A vehicle can ‘hide’ in your blind spot, making it impossible to see what it’s doing. There are two blind spots in the average vehicle, one on either side of the car, extending from roughly the rear of the vehicle back in a triangle. However, different vehicles have varying blind spots – a tractor trailer has enormous blind spots, for instance.
There are several ways to avoid them and enhance your safety. The most important is to adjust your side view mirrors properly. You should not be able to see the side of your car in the side view mirrors, so adjust them outward to provide the widest field of view on both the driver and passenger sides of your vehicle. Just because you are smart enough to check your blind spots, it doesn’t mean everyone else will. The number of drivers who change lanes without looking properly is common, so put the onus on yourself to stay out of trouble. If you notice you’re cruising to the right of and slightly behind another car, there’s a good chance they can’t see you. Either accelerate and pull alongside or in front of them or drop back until you’re sure you can be seen in their mirrors.