As a general rule of thumb, most drivers position their outside mirrors so they can see the sides of their own car. However, this position actually makes things worse, creating the very blind spots drivers must turn their head to see before switching lanes.
According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, there is a trick to completely eliminate blind spots. The side mirrors should be positioned further outward so the driver can see only a small amount of overlap with the rear-view. This way, when a passing vehicle appears in the driver’s rear-view mirror, it transitions into the side mirror view and finally shifts into the driver’s peripheral vision smoothly, without disappearing from the driver’s sight.
How Should I Position My Side Mirrors?
To position side mirrors correctly, lean your head against the driver window and move the mirror until the edge of the car is barely visible. After sitting back up, lean towards the passenger’s window and adjust the passenger side mirror in the same way. These new settings should always be tested with a parked vehicle before driving into traffic.
Though some may find the inability to see the sides of their own cars awkward or disorienting, positioning the mirrors further outward gives drivers a more complete picture of the traffic around them, which could ultimately save them a lot of trouble down the road.
Though your side mirrors are properly adjusted, there are still other drivers battling through Austin traffic with blind spots. Aaron Allison is a personal injury lawyer who handles car accident cases and insurance claims in the Austin area.