How To Adjust Your Car Mirrors To Eliminate Blind Spots SAE

How To Adjust Your Car Mirrors To Eliminate Blind Spots SAE


Hi, I’m Stan and I’d like to talk to you
about properly adjusting your rear-view
mirrors so that you can avoid dangerous
blind spots when you’re driving. Now you
may think what’s the big deal? I know how
to adjust my mirrors. I’ve been doing it
for a long time. I learned how to do it
way back in driver’s ed and I can see
good out of my mirrors. So what have I got
to learn from this video? Well that’s
exactly what I would have said before I
read this article in Car & Driver
Magazine, about a paper that was
published by the SAE, The Society of
Automotive Engineers, and in that paper
the SAE explained that the way most of
us adjust our mirrors leaves big blind
spots behind our cars. These blind spots
are big enough to hide an entire car in
them. So if your mirrors aren’t adjusted
correctly, you could make a move into the
lane next to you and hit a car that’s
there that you didn’t see, or cause them
to run off the road. After reading that
article I realized I had been adjusting
my mirrors the wrong way. So let’s look
first at how I and probably most of you
have been adjusting our mirrors and then
we’ll look at how the SAE recommends
that we change that. Most people adjust
their mirrors like this: sitting in the
driver’s seat, the right side mirror is
basically adjusted so you can just see
the edge of your car. The center mirror
is usually adjusted correctly. It’s
straight back from the drivers point of
view to include the whole rear window.
And most people adjust the left side
mirror the same way as the right side,
where they bring it in until it shows
just the left side of the car straight
back. And so even though most of us
probably adjust our mirrors that way,
according to the SAE, that’s not the
correct way. Or at least that’s not the
safest way!
Adjusting them that way creates big
blind spots to the left and right rear
of your vehicle. The SAE says that you
should be pointing your mirrors further;
out into the lanes besides you, away from
the side of your car. Using their setup,
as the vehicle is passing you, you see it
in your center mirror. As it leaves your
center mirror, it shows up in your left
side mirror, and then you see it in your
peripheral vision out to the side. This
gives you a more panoramic view of
what’s going on behind and beside your
vehicle. Now I’m going to show you how
they recommend you adjust your mirrors
for greater driving safety. Right now, I
have my left side mirror adjusted so
that it points straight back and shows a
little bit of the side of my car. But
since that’s wrong, we’re going to change
that. What they tell you to do first is
put your head up against the left side
window. With your head up against the
window, adjust your mirror out so you can
just see the left side of your car. And
then adjust your center mirror the way
you’ve probably been doing it already anyway.
With your center mirror, make sure
you can see the whole rear window, or at
least as much as possible. And then
adjust your right side mirror. To do that,
position yourself so you’re basically in
the center of your car over the console,
if there is one, but more or less
straight out from your center mirror as
much as possible. With your head
positioned over the center of your
vehicle, adjust your mirror out so you
can just see the side of your car. Using
these mirror settings, you never really
lose sight of a car that’s passing you.
The panoramic view it gives you
eliminates those dangerous blind spots.
This can go a long way towards
eliminating accidents injuries and
fatalities. When you’re going down the
road, it can mean the difference between
seeing this in the other lane…or seeing this:

And that’s a big difference in safety. So
I’m going to take these mirrors out on
the road and see how they work in
traffic.
When you implement these mirror settings,
you’re creating a safer driving
environment for yourself, your passengers,
and everyone around you, and that’s a big plus.
I made these changes to my mirror system
in my cars and it was weird at first but
now I really like it. Even with the new
mirror setup, I’m still a big proponent
of looking quickly over your left
shoulder before you make a lane change.
This is especially important if there
might be a motorcycle that’s passing you.
With any mirror setup, motorcycles are
harder to see than a car is, so a quick
look over your shoulder could help
eliminate a possible accident. I put a
link in the video description below to
the article in the Car and Driver
magazine that I referred to. It gives a
little more information about the SAE
report, and it’s got a good graphic there
too that can be helpful. Thanks for
watching this video. Have a great day and
drive safely. Bye!


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