12.23.15 - Side Mirror

As advanced as our cars have become sometimes we drive cars that don’t have specific technologies aboard yet.  Cars have been driven for over one hundred years without blind spot detection technology installed and in many cases even without the small mirror that is convex to give you a look into the lanes and areas around you.  How do you see into your blind spot area without the use of any blind spot detection equipment and make sure you can avoid having an accident better than ever before?

In a traditional manner you can see the side of your car and part of what is in the lane next to you with your mirrors.  This positioning actually overlaps the look from your mirrors and doesn’t give you a look to the area around you.  For some reason this position of your mirrors has been taught and used for many years, but in reality it’s not the best way for you to see the world around your car.  What you do need is a positioning of the mirrors in such a way that the side mirrors don’t overlap the view from the rearview mirror.

There was a report that was published in 1995 by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) that informed us outside mirrors should be positioned to extend the view of the rearview mirror rather than overlapping it.  If you were to position your mirrors in this manner you would actually eliminate the blind spot, but it certainly will take some getting used to.  With your mirrors positioned in this manner you eliminate the need to look over your shoulder when driving which takes your eyes and attention off what is in front of you.

The problem with positioning your mirrors to reflect the SAE recommendation is the fact that you can’t see the sides of your car, which most of us have become highly accustomed to.  Using the rearview mirror to see what is behind you and having an extended view makes a huge difference, but the disorientation offered from the mirror views that are not what we are used to can cause problems.  This leaves the question of whether or not it’s better to feel comfortable with the view you have or to change to the SAE recommended settings to have the view that is more complete?

Overall the right choice is to make use of this report, especially when you have a car that does not have any blind spot technology at all.  This will give you a complete view of what is going on around you and let you enjoy knowing you have the blind spot covered.  What amazes me is the fact that this report was not more widely spread or put into use sooner.  Many accidents certainly could be avoided by having mirrors in the right position for viewing all of the area around a vehicle.  It may take some getting used to, but putting your mirrors in the right positions for a full view of the area will make a huge difference in your driving and ability to avoid collisions.

Written by Kerry Marasco

Call me old fashioned by I just got into social media recently. Yes, I'm that gal you see at the real coffee shop (aka not Starbucks) with an actual book.

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