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Effective mirror checks
A common issue for learners and experienced drivers alike is forgetting to regularly check your mirrors while driving. It is a serious omission which you need to correct for your safety and that of other road users. Fortunately, there are ways to help you remember and the following ‘triggers’ should prompt you to check what’s going on behind you. Always look in your mirrors before moving off, before indicating, every time you change direction including turning, overtaking and changing lanes, and every time you change your speed be it faster or slower. Finally, always look in your mirrors every time you encounter a hazard or potential hazard that may cause you to change speed or direction.
It’s essential to check you’re using your mirrors correctly at all times. This means always using your mirrors: before you move off to check it’s safe to pull out into traffic; before you signal to check you won’t confuse a driver behind you; before any change of direction including turning, overtaking and changing lanes; before any change in your speed to make sure other drivers have time to react; before you do anything that could interfere with what other road users are doing. Remember side mirrors are convex (curved outwards) so things look further away than they actually are. As a general guideline, try to use your mirrors every five seconds. Say to yourself ‘1-2-3-4-5 mirrors check’.