Last updated: August 2023
Part of being a defensive driver includes being mindful of blind spots, both yours and those of other drivers. Learn how to adjust your mirrors and driving style to avoid blind spots and drive safely.
What Is a Blind Spot?
A blind spot is an area outside of your field of vision. Every vehicle has blind spots that can obstruct your view, keeping other drivers, parked cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and animals out of sight, and they’re even bigger for SUVs, hatchbacks, and trucks. Blind spots are responsible for a lot of car accidents, but there are ways to avoid them!
How to Avoid Blind Spots
1. Adjust Your Mirrors to Avoid Blind Spots
Adjusting the positioning of your mirrors is a quick and easy way to improve your visibility and reduce blind spots immediately.
- Position your rearview mirror as you normally would.
- Lean to the left until your head touches the driver’s side window.
- From that position, adjust your left side-view mirror so you can see the back-left corner of your car.
- Lean the same distance to the right and adjust your right-side view mirror so you can see the back-right corner of your car.
Now, you’ll be able to see a car approaching you from behind through your rearview mirror and as it passes you on the right or left through your side-view mirrors.
Driving with your mirrors positioned this way might take some getting used to, but it will reduce your blind spots. Still, you should never rely completely on your mirrors. Always check your blind spots by looking over your shoulder when changing lanes, pulling out into traffic, backing out of a parking space, etc.
2. Remember to SMOG
Changing lanes? Merging onto a highway? Always remember to SMOG:
- Signal. Use your blinker. It’s a small gesture that makes a huge difference.
- Mirror. Check your side-view mirrors for nearby vehicles.
- Over your shoulder. Don’t count on mirrors alone. Always look over your shoulder.
- Go. If you’re in the clear, you’re safe to make your move.
It’s important to move carefully but act quickly. If more than a few seconds pass after you’ve checked your mirrors and over your shoulder and you still haven’t changed lanes or merged, check over your shoulder again before making your move.
3. Get Safety Add-ons to Reduce Blind Spots
There are easy upgrades you can make to your vehicle to reduce blind spots. Some of these features come standard on newer vehicles:
- Wide-angle side-view mirrors expand your field of vision
- Blind-spot mirrors are a cost-effective way to improve visibility
- Blind spot detection systems monitor your movement
Blind Spot Safety Tips
- No driver should rely solely on their mirrors. Use them, but always check over your shoulder.
- If a vehicle is within your field of vision and then suddenly you don’t see it, assume it’s in your blind spot.
- Be aware of other drivers’ blind spots and try to stay out of them.
Safe Driving Starts with Insurance
Accidents happen, even if you’ve taken all the steps to prevent one. That’s why it’s important to carry enough auto insurance coverage. At Direct Auto, we offer affordable coverage that keeps you legal on the road. Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732), click, or come into a Direct location near you to learn more.