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How to Adjust your Car Mirrors

By: StaffPublished September 28, 2021

Follow these simple tips on how to adjust your car mirrors. If you’ve never felt the instant panic that comes with realizing a blind spot while you’re already on the road, consider yourself fortunate. If you haven’t been so lucky, you know how frightening this situation can be.

If you don’t have a system for adjusting the mirrors in your car, read this short guide. Just a few seconds of adjustments after someone else drives your car could save your life.

  • Maximize the effectiveness of all three mirrors –To optimize the effectiveness of both side view mirrors and your rearview mirror, make sure that no mirror is doing the work that another mirror is already doing. All three mirrors should collaborate to create a panoramic view for the driver. In other words, the side view mirror should pick up where the rearview mirror leaves off.

  • Don’t waste mirror space looking at your car – A side view mirror that has been properly adjusted for blind spots will not show a reflection of the side of your vehicle. While this view may show you a bit of what’s going on directly behind your car, you will miss what’s happening diagonally behind you. Adjust the side view mirrors just beyond the point where you can see the side of your vehicle. This will allow your rearview mirror to handle what’s happening directly behind you and let your side view mirrors manage the rest.

  • Try them out – Once you feel that you’ve correctly positioned your mirrors, choose a safe area with slow-moving traffic to see how they work. You should be able to see passing vehicles in your peripheral vision before they leave the outside mirror.

  • Don’t forget to adjust for nighttime driving - It’s a common mistake for drivers to forget to switch their rearview mirrors from the daytime setting to the nighttime one. The nighttime setting reduces glare from car lights behind you, making your driving experience safer. In most cars, pull the lever at the bottom of the mirror toward you for daytime driving and push it away at night.

Remember, it’s important to use your head while driving, but not physically. It’s natural to want to turn your head before you change lanes to see what is going on behind you. However, this takes your concentration off of driving and what’s going on in front of you, which is dangerous. It’s safer to be able to trust your car mirrors with what’s happening behind you so that your head can stay facing forward.

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