Setting up the side mirror – things to think about
This is the second part of a two-part series discussing side mirror setup. This isn’t about which is better and who should win this “battle”. It’s about making an informed choice to keep you, your passengers, your vehicle and other road users safe while driving. If you missed the first part, here it is; https://thesafedriver.ca/2015/05/21/setting-up-the-side-mirrors-part-one/
Here’s something to think about with this type of mirror set up. Experts will ask drivers why they want to see a sliver of their vehicle in their side mirrors with the traditional setup. Well, here’s why. Considering one of the most common types of vehicle crashes is a rear crash, your side mirrors can help you avoid a multiple vehicle pile-up. Let me explain.
Here’s the scenario. You’re stopped in traffic and a large vehicle is stopped behind you. You check your rear view mirror and all you can see is the tinted windows of that vehicle behind you or the grill of the large pickup truck. If that vehicle gets hit from behind, they could easily be pushed into you, causing severe damage and possible injuries to you and your passengers. However, if you have your side mirrors angled to still see down the side of your vehicle and up the lane, you can still monitor traffic approaching from behind. If you spot another vehicle approaching quickly from behind, you have that opportunity to move out of the way to avoid being involved in a multiple rear crash.
Let’s say you’re waiting to make a right turn into traffic. While stopped you keep checking to the left to look for an opening. If your side mirror was angled away from your vehicle, you could miss seeing any cyclist about to come up on the side, including from a bicycle lane. Glancing into a side mirror and blind spot before making that right turn allows you to ensure its safe to make the turn.
And the last point to consider. When parked at the curb with a larger vehicle parked behind you, your rear view mirror becomes useless to see traffic approaching from behind before pulling out. It’s helpful to be able to use your side mirror to ensure its okay to safely pull away from the curb. If the angle of the side mirror has been pushed out, that may not work to your advantage.
So there you have it. The pros and cons about adjusting your side mirrors away from your vehicle or showing a sliver of the vehicle while sitting in the normal driving position. The decision is yours. Make an educated one. Even many experts say a blind spot check in certain situations is still required to help drivers make safe driving choices. Being an observant driver is still the main goal here. If a collision happens because you may have missed seeing someone, you only have yourself to blame. If a collision happens between two drivers, it only takes one of those drivers to do something different for the collision to not happen. I’m an advocate for safe driving. I can only give you the facts. You have to make your own choices. I just hope you make the safest choice.