How to set your car mirrors!
I was listening on NPR to Car Talk this morning (Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers) and learned a much better way to adjust the side mirrors on my car to totally eliminate the blind spot at each rear quarter.

All of us, I am sure, have from time immemorial learned to adjust the mirror by sitting normally in the driver's seat and adjusting the side mirrors to just barely see the back end of the car. Further, almost everybody thinks of the rear view mirror as being independent from the side mirrors. Unfortunately, this time-honoured method results in large dangerous blind spots in the rear quarters of the car. This is especially important on the high-speed Interstate where people are changing lanes a lot. These blindspots hide vehicles from you when you most need to see them due to their close proximity.

The principle of the improved method is to utilize the field of view of ALL THREE mirrors, with a slight overlap. Scanning all 3 mirrors eliminates all blind spots. I tried it today and it really works nicely. I tested it first in town and then out on the freeway. It takes a little getting used to but it's really a much better and safer way to drive.

If you want to know more about this, including how to make the simple adjustment, there's an excellent description at this link

One note: I found that the mirrors end up being adjusted a little too far out if you put your head right up against the window glass like they suggest. Their method is a good starting point, but, more important is to make certain that you can see part of the same object (e.g., a car) in both the rear view mirror and the particular side mirror while sitting normally. That is, there should be a little overlap of the fields of view between the rear view mirror and the side mirrors. You can safely do the setup in your driveway looking at objects such as trees or houses in the mirrors to make this adjustment. And then you can fine-tune it as you pass cars on a double-lane highway (or as they pass you).

Try it!  You'll like it!

Happy Safe Motoring!


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