How to Adjust Side Mirrors
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Checking the mirrors is one of the first things we do when getting behind the wheel of a new vehicle or one someone else has driven more recently. The mirrors on your vehicle are absolutely vital to your safety on the road and their position is particular to your height, size, and preferences.
The rear view mirrors on your windshield and doors allow you to see more of your surroundings including other objects and vehicles. So learning how to properly adjust them the right time, every time, is of the utmost importance for any driver.
Some people just look to see if they can view behind them, not realizing there is an optimum position of each one for the greatest overall viewing possible. There are certain techniques that can help you get them in the correct spot: Part 1 tells you how to adjust the mirror inside the car, Part 2 explains how to move the driver’s side mirror, Part 3 describes how to do this without creating a blind spot, and Part 4 tells you how to position the passenger side mirror.
Part 1 of 4: How to adjust your cabin mirror on the windshield
This should be your first adjustment after getting comfortable and finding the best position for you in the driver’s seat. Once you know where your seat will be positioned, the long mirror attached to the windshield is the first one you should be perfecting.
In order to have the best viewing experience, you should be able to look directly through the back window with no obstructions. Don’t allow the mirror to be angled in order to see any of the back seat (even if you have a little one you want to keep an eye on, they make special mirrors for that).
Part 2 of 4: How to adjust your driver’s side mirror
After your windshield mirror is perfect, the driver’s side mirror is ready for adjustment. This is done in different ways in different vehicles, from actually pushing the mirror itself by hand to small switches inside the vehicle. Determine how the adjustments are supposed to be made.
Now you must figure out the best position to see as much of the road around you as you can. One way to do this is to push the mirror to see only a tiny sliver of your car in the right hand side of the mirror, with the rest showing as much of the road as possible.
Part 3 of 4: How to adjust your driver’s side mirror with no blind spot
Part 3 discussed the traditional method of setting your mirror, with a small portion of your own vehicle appearing in the mirror. However, this may not be the safest position since it allows for a small “blind spot.”
This method of mirror placement might not be ideal since it requires you to physically turn your head around in order to check the blind spot, taking your eyes off the road ahead of you as you’re driving.
A different method to help this problem is to place your head against the driver’s side window and adjust the mirror to where it barely shows the side of your vehicle. Now, when you sit up normally, your view through the mirror is wider and should pick up right around where the mirror on your windshield leaves off, allowing you to see in a full circumference around you without turning around.
Part 4 of 4: How to adjust your passenger mirror accordingly
Finally, you’ll want to adjust your final mirror, located on the passenger door. This mirror might be a little less used than the other two but is just as important and can be just as tricky to set.
You should set this according to whichever method you chose for your driver’s side mirror. If you choose the traditional method, sitting up normally in your seat, you should be able to view the side of your car on the left edge of the mirror.
If you choose to eliminate more of the blind spot on the passenger side, lean to your right over the center console and adjust the mirror to where you just see the side of your vehicle in the mirror. Again, this should create the perfect space in line with your windshield mirror and allowing you to view the complete area beside your vehicle without having to turn your head.
Having properly positioned mirrors helps you keep an eye on cars, pedestrians, animals, and objects that could appear while driving. Seeing what’s coming, either behind you or beside you, helps you react with more time and avoid potentially dangerous situations.