Tag: Road Safety

How to Adjust Car Mirrors to Avoid Blind Spots

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18 percent of all car accidents are caused during lane changes. The main contributor to these wrecks is drivers not seeing vehicles appearing into your blind spot.

The conventional wisdom is for drivers to look over their shoulder to check their blind spots, but this isn’t the safest or most ideal solution. Taking your eyes off the road leaves you with less time to react if the cars ahead of you suddenly stop.

The easiest and safest way to check your blind spot is to ensure your mirrors are properly configured in your vehicle. Surprisingly, most drivers are not taking full advantage of their mirrors. When the side and rear-view mirrors are setup perfectly, drivers should be able to see vehicles from all angles without having to look over their shoulder.

The biggest win here is to properly adjust your side mirrors. For most drivers, the side mirrors are setup to show vehicles down the side of your car and behind you. This is helpful for parallel parking, but it doesn’t give you the greatest coverage for seeing cars approaching and passing.

When your mirrors are setup properly, you’ll have full visibility of vehicles around you with all of your mirrors and your peripheral vision.

· Your rearview mirrors will show vehicles behind you and approaching to pass

· As a vehicle passes, it will instantly transition from your rear view mirror to your side mirror. There will be no blind spot and you won’t have to look over your shoulder.

How do you setup your mirrors properly? It’s simple.

  1. Make sure your rearview mirror is centered against your back window.

2. Next, adjust your side mirrors. This is the most important part. You’ll want to move your side mirrors outward so that they’re positioned just beyond the point where you can see the side of your own vehicle. (If you lean left or right in your seat and look into your mirror, you should be able to see the edge of your vehicle.)

Typical side mirror setup showing side of vehicle. Passing vehicle does not appear.

Better mirror alignment. Passing vehicle is now viewable in side mirror.

This will be awkward at first, almost like when you first change your golf swing. But, give it time, and you’ll notice that you’ll no longer need to look over your shoulder to view passing cars. Vehicles that start in your rear-view mirror will immediately transition to appear in your side view mirror, leaving you with no blind spots.

Can’t get comfortable with not being able to see down the side of your car? Just pick up a pack of blind spot mirrors.

You now have a much better field of vision, helping you to see approaching vehicles from all angles without having to turn your head. You’re driving even safer.

Have your own tips for adjusting your mirrors or handling blind spots? Share your tips in the comments.

Driving rules and laws that are often forgotten

In the United States, drivers are only required to pass a test when they first receive their driver’s license. After that, drivers never have to pass another examination. Because of this, time will cause drivers to forget, or even make up, the rules of the road.

To make transportation effortless, roads must also be safe. We’ve created a list of some of the most common driving rules that are misunderstood to keep us all safer.

  1. Tailgating is illegal.

In Georgia, tailgating, also known as “following too closely,” is illegal.

As a general rule, drivers must leave enough room between the car in front of them to react to sudden stops, while also taking into account the weather conditions.

A rule of thumb is that drivers need to allow two to four seconds of travel time between them and the vehicle in front of them. Another safeguard is to leave 10 feet of space for every 10 miles per hour you are traveling. For example, traveling 60 mph means you should leave 60 feet of space in front of the next vehicle.

Tailgating is extremely dangerous. One study found that tailgating and close driving is responsible for 12% of all motor vehicle crashes.

Tailgating is equally dangerous to the drivers behind you. If you are tailgating, and suddenly crash into the driver in front of you, drivers behind you have even less time to react than if you had kept an appropriate amount of space.

2. Yield to all pedestrians.

Driving laws you require to yield to all pedestrians, in any situation. When pedestrians enter the road, they’re essentially placing an invisible crosswalk at that location.

Regardless of if you have a green light, or a crosswalk signal is enabled, you must stop for all pedestrians.

Trivia: It is actually safer for pedestrians to “jay walk” than cross at a marked crosswalk.

3. Drivers must change lanes for vehicles parked in the emergency lane.

Driving at 80 miles per hour just 10 feet away from a parked vehicle is extremely dangerous. State laws require that drivers change lanes and slow down for vehicles parked in the emergency lane.

For example, in Georgia:

“State law requires drivers approaching stationary emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights, including towing and recovery vehicles, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, or slow below the posted speed limit to a speed reasonable for road and traffic conditions.”

4. The right of way is a tie-breaker at stop signs.

When entering a four-way stop, the general rule is that the first vehicle to arrive at the stop sign has the right of way. However, if two or more cars arrive at the exact same time, the car to the right owns the tie breaker and goes first.

If two cars arrive at the same time directly in front of each other, then the car going straight receive the right of way.

Still confused? The NHTSA has a handy guide to help you understand all of the different scenarios for handling right of way.

Revisiting these rules should help you stay safe and alert. What are other rules and tips that you have for driving?

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