Properly Adjusting Your Car Mirrors Can Save You From an Accident

February 27, 2016

Cars in the U.S. have seen a steady size creep within the last couple decades. In fact, since 1987, the average car became over 24 percent heavier by 2010 (the average car weighed 4,009 pounds in 2010). The larger a vehicle is, the more dangerous it is to every other vehicle, pedestrian, and cyclist on the road. Aside from the weight of a car creating danger to others, the large size of car also reduces the driver’s visibility. Larger vehicles have more blind spots than smaller vehicles. However, there are steps you can take in order to decrease these blind spots.

The Standard Doctrine on Mirror Adjustment May Be Wrong

Most people adjust their side mirrors so that they can still see the side paneling of their own car. While this does offer a view of cars passing on the side, it creates a blind spot. In a paper published by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the researchers concluded that by adjusting the mirrors further out, drivers can eliminate blind spots. In order for this to be successful, the side mirrors must be angled far out enough to overlap with the inside rear view mirror above the dashboard. This approach can be difficult to get used to, as most drivers are used to being able to see the side of their own vehicle in the side view mirrors. The researchers argue that by properly adjusting the mirrors, drivers can completely get rid of blind spots and therefore do away with any side glances over the shoulder when making a turn. However, it is still a safe driving protocol to glance over the shoulder because every vehicle has different proportions and design that could possibly leave a blind spot. There is also a chance that the mirrors could have been bumped after adjustment, or that a pedestrian or cyclist, which are harder to see in mirrors, may be to the side of the vehicle. But, the important takeaway is that you can greatly minimize blind spots by following the researcher’s guidelines and tilting the side mirrors further outwards than what most drivers are familiar with.


Camera and Radar Technology


In addition to mirror adjustment, there are also options for radar and camera technology to eliminate blind spots. Many cars now offer features such as center console video screens, used when backing up. A small camera is located low on the rear of the vehicle to offer a view when driving in reverse. Other autos have radar detection technology or cameras that scan the car’s peripheral for vehicles that may be in the next lane over but are difficult to see. Of course, convex mirror attachments for the side mirrors have been around for a long time, and offer a much cheaper way to get a little extra visibility.


Even if your mirrors are adjusted to the T and your car is equipped with camera technology, there is still the potential for an accident. If you have been injured in a South Carolina car crash that was the fault of another, you may be able to collect damages to help pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Give one of our experienced car accident attorneys at The Connell Law Firm, LLC a call today to discuss your legal options. We can be reached online and on the phone, and we charge nothing for a consultation, so there is no reason to wait.