You remark to yourself, “Oh, come on,” as you read this headline. Who can’t adjust their rearview mirrors? You sit in the driver’s seat, turn a small knob on the armrest, and presto! Done.
If that’s how you’ve been adjusting your mirrors — if you bother to adjust them at all — then you’ve also had that heart-stopping moment on the road when you try to pull into the left lane only to discover that someone is already there. And they are unwilling to share. They appear to believe that you are about to violate some sort of physical principle regarding two items inhabiting the same space. What a collection of chickens!
If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, the hiding nook near your fenders is known as the blind spot. It is the area on the rear flank of your vehicle that you frequently cannot see in your rearview mirrors. You can see an automobile approaching from behind in the center mirror installed inside your vehicle, and you can see that same car next to you as it passes through your window, yet for a few seconds you cannot see it at all. Some vehicles have larger blind areas than others, but you’d be shocked at how enormous a vehicle may be if your mirrors are not properly positioned.
The technological gurus of the twenty-first century have invented devices that can identify and warn you of vehicles in your blind spot. Yet, the best defense is the traditional adjusting of mirrors.
Tips for Adjusting Your Vehicle’s Mirrors
Fortunately, adjusting your mirrors doesn’t take any special equipment or abilities, and you’ll only appear ridiculous for a few seconds at most. Don’t fret. In fact, there are images of you doing much sillier things that have been preserved on Facebook, and this behavior is in the name of safety. Here’s how to proceed:
To adjust the driver’s side mirror, stoop to the left until your forehead brushes the window glass. Adjust the mirror till you can see a little slice of your car’s side. When sitting upright in the driver’s seat, it should be impossible to see your own vehicle. Why would you want to do that? When has the rear bumper of your own vehicle ever surprised you?
Now, lean to the right until your head is just above the center console and adjust the passenger-side mirror in the same manner. You should be able to see only a slice of your own vehicle.
This adjustment procedure will only work if your mirrors can be electronically adjusted. If you must manually adjust the mirror glass instead of using a switch, you must either open the window or walk to the opposite side of the vehicle. In this situation, provide your best estimate for the head position, or ask a friend to adjust the mirrors while you lean.
When adjusting the center mirror, ensure that you are seated normally. Don’t abruptly adopt Marine Corps stance if you slouch, and don’t strive to show your best side in the mirror. Understand that some days you’re a sloucher and others you’re a ballerina. Simply adjust the mirror so that you can see as much of the rear window as possible when you peek up while driving.
That concludes the discussion. No more erratic lane changes due to the presence of a vehicle in your blind area.