I’m don’t use this blog much for safety tips. Not because they are unimportant, but because you can get that information elsewhere. However, with Labor Day weekend coming upon us, I have to drive to the Eastern Shore so I’d like to be safe. And I get to feel unbelievably superior when I write these things. So let’s talk about using car mirrors properly because it seems like few people know how to use them and fewer understand their limitations. Please read this in a condescending, know-it-all tone.
Mirrors are one of the most vital parts of an automobile. Too many drivers on Maryland roads today, view mirrors as important as getting a NFL Red Zone is to the “Kinky Boots” musical cast playing at the Hippodrome later this month. They are jerking their heads around, like a madman before every aggressive, unsafe lane change they make.
But mirrors provide visibility that is a lot safer than those neck jerks. Not only can car mirrors be resourceful in taking a final glance of yourself, before stepping out into the world; but they are crazy helpful in helping us drive safely and park accurately. Mirrors allow you to view obstructed views, blind spots, and help produce a complete view of your vehicle’s surroundings.
Most of the time, one of the first things drivers do, when entering their vehicle, is adjust the rear-view and side-view mirrors to fit their own specifications. When you think about it, mirrors help in various ways when you’re driving. Mirrors aid you when you’re changing lanes, making turns, or backing up. Mirrors are absolutely crucial for precautionary reasons and maintaining safety on the roadways. It is a helpful tool for the driver since it provides a view of the areas a driver cannot easily see when navigating behind the wheel.
Let’s take a closer look at the particular role each mirror has in a vehicle:
- A rear-view mirror is the wide rectangular mirror found inside your vehicle, right above the dashboard. It is used to view the roadway that is behind your vehicle; without having to turn your head, which takes the driver’s eyes off the road in front of them.
- Side view mirrors are the mirrors mounted outside of your vehicle on the left and right side. These mirrors are used to view the roadway that is behind your vehicle and each side of their vehicle. These mirrors make right and left-hand turns easier. In addition, these mirrors help aid drivers with parallel parking, backing into a parking spot, and exiting a parking spot.
- Towing mirrors are extended mirrors, which extend outward further than standard truck mirrors on the left and right side of a vehicle. These types of mirrors are typically found on trucks that are likely to pull weight. They are beneficial in increasing the driver’s rearward vision, while trailing a fishing boat, a camper, etc.
Although using car mirrors appropriately may seem like common sense; it is important for Maryland drivers to fully understand the best ways to use and when to use their mirrors. Most of the time, people attempt to adjust their mirrors while driving down the road, but this can be a huge distraction and can lead to an accident. First of all, NEVER adjust mirrors while driving – as it can be a major distraction. Therefore, hop in your car and adjust your mirror specifications BEFORE you leave your parking space. Also, always check your mirrors before you stop, turn, speed up, or switch lanes.
The very first step to avoid a car accident is to practice the safest driving possible for yourself. Although, towing mirrors are optional, make sure your side and rear-view mirrors are always functional. Every bit of safety helps. Therefore, always use your vehicle mirrors to double-check your area surroundings while traveling and before making your next move. Remember, using your mirrors is the safest way to navigate. Turning your head too much and taking your eyes off the road is how people get killed. Only taking your eyes off the road for a second can lead to a serious accident and someone getting hurt. The take-home message? Be a smart driver and trust your mirrors — unless you have a clear blind spot — before making your next lane change. Please.