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How do you adjust your side mirrors?

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by TEG, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #1 TEG, Jun 4, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
    After decades of driving I just had a thought that maybe I was adjusting my side mirrors to look too much towards the car. I had instinctively been setting them so my view is "straight backwards" and I see the door handles of my car in each mirror. Realizing that a few times I was caught off guard by someone in my "blind spot" that I couldn't see with my mirrors, but could see when I turned my head very far around, I thought I would try pointing the side mirrors outwards a bit more. I don't really need to see all the way back in the distance, and I think a smaller blind spot would be a good tradeoff. After driving this way for a few days I got used to it and think it is an improvement. (Never too old to learn something new I hope).

    Today I checked and lo and behold I see that some sites recommend this very change in habit:

    How to Set Rearview Mirrors to Eliminate Blind Spots - wikiHow
    Adjusting Your Mirrors Correctly - Smart Motorist

    mirrorsani3.gif
     
  2. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    Yes, indeed! This way of adjusting the mirrors was something that a friend of mine tried to sell me on many years ago. I resisted until I bought a Nissan 350Z, which has signifcant obstructions of the rearward view. It took about a week to get comfortable with it, but now I do lane changes and highway merging without any problems. I evangelize this technique whenever I get rides with other friends or co-workers and see that they have their mirrors set "wrong".
     
  3. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    The way I've always done it (and I think the way I learned in Driver's Ed back in high school) was to adjust the side mirrors so that their view just barely overlaps with with that of the rear view mirror. This isn't what most people do?
     
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #4 vfx, Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
    My exterior rear view mirrors have those "stick on" mirrors in the corner. They are fish-eye convex like the security mirrors in a store. Works well for a big truck mirror -they probably take up to much real estate on a small sports car mirror.

    Gets low scores here:
    Auto Safety Editors' Results: Best 2007 Car Gadgets & Automotive Safety Technologies

    edit:
    Took me awhile to firgure out what they were selling. Looks like they tap into power mirrors and let you scan the blind spot by "panning" the mirror with a seperate swith. Kinda cool but I wonder what the life cycle is of those motors and plastic gears?
     
  5. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    I've always done what the drivers ed teacher told me as I've only had my license for about 4 years. He said turn them far enough away from the car that you barely can see the door handles at the edge. Though I haven't experimented with this... maybe I should. I do turn my neck whenever I'm crossing my blind spot, like exiting a roundabout or changing lanes...

    Cobos
     
  6. shark2k

    shark2k Member

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    Since TEG linked to this in another thread I'm gonna bring it back. This has to do with what doug said, (I've only been driving for 6 years). I think I was talking with my brother, but how to adjust the mirrors came up in a conversation with somebody. I looked online and basically found what the image depicts. One thing that what I found did say though was that you should be able to follow an object from the right side mirror all the way around the back of the car to the left side mirror and see it the whole time. So when you transition from right side mirror to rearview mirror, you should be able to keep the object in your view and not have a gap. It is basically the same as what doug said about overlapping what you see.

    -Shark2k
     
  7. roopocket12

    roopocket12 Member

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    #8 roopocket12, Feb 19, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
    I got redirected to this thread and this is very helpful indeed. I have never touched my mirrors when since I bought them.
     
  8. johnr

    johnr Member

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    I was adjusting my mirrors the wrong way also, until I came across this thread a few months back. No one taught me how to do it right. I'm sure a lot of other people just don't know any better either. Anyway, since I changed them according to these instructions, it took a little while to get used to it but the improvement has been huge! No more car headlights shining into the mirror, or the sun shining through the mirror in the evening, blinding me. Blind spots have been significantly reduced. I know I'm much safer now as a result. It's cool when a car is passing, to see the car enter the side mirror as it leaves the rear view mirror, and then appear as expected in my peripheral vision just as it leaves the side view mirror. This is the way it's supposed to be. :smile: Thank you, TEG, for posting this - it has been very helpful!
     
  9. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    Ditto what John said ... has helped me tremendeously too. THANKS, TEG !
     
  10. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    Same here TEG; how strange that we're all finding this out so late! I've always adjusted so the car behind is in the centre of the mirror; apparently this is not right; I have a 20-30% of my mirror showing the back of the car... that said, it does look good :smile:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. DrTaras

    DrTaras R254->R725->S1364-->X769

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    When I wash my car I often will accidentally bump the side view mirrors. Sometimes it is considerably off. While the easiest correction would be NOT to bump them, MOM (this scenario is similar when my wife rarely takes that car), I was wondering if anyone had any tricks to re-align them. That is, from the exterior, before I get in the car, could there be a system by which I could set the side view mirrors back to my setting without having to get in the car and reach over, especially to the passenger side? Maybe I put some red nail polish on the under side of the mirror and look to align those marks again? Help me solve world peace, world hunger & re-aligning my side view mirrors! :confused:
     
  12. sprediletto

    sprediletto Member

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    I adjusted the mirrors on my Range Rover last night and wow, what a difference. My Roadster will be here in a few weeks and this will be a big help. Thanks for the post.
     
  13. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    Back when I was 16 (right after I got my drivers license), I was driving on a two lane road, mostly staying in the blind spot of the person next to me (oops). After about a quarter mile, the driver decided to merge lanes without looking over his shoulder (he probably just used his mirrors, but since I was in his blind spot, he couldn't see me using the mirrors). He nearly pushed me into on-coming traffic, but after our cars hit, he reacted quickly enough to get back into his lane before killing me.

    Lesson: don't trust your mirrors. There might be an inexperienced and/or poor driver in your blind spot. And don't think that you can keep track of the cars behind you. Cars can come out of nowhere.

    If you do decide to only use mirrors, at least use one of these (or similar):
    Amazon.com: Total View 360 - Adjustable Blind Spot Mirror - As Seen On TV!: Sports Outdoors
     
  14. shark2k

    shark2k Member

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    The point Kevin was making is that if your mirrors are set properly, you should have very little blind spot. I'm sure that guys mirrors were not set properly, as most people do not set their mirrors properly. With properly set mirrors you can follow someone walking around your car starting on one side and see them the whole time as they go from left to behind to right.

    -Shark2k
     
  15. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    While I'm sure you're correct that his mirrors weren't set properly, I still maintain that looking with your own eyes is always the best bet. Even if it's annoying. What if someone really is in your tiny blind spot? What if someone adjusted your mirrors since the last time you drove your car and you didn't notice?
     
  16. shark2k

    shark2k Member

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    #17 shark2k, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
    I am using my own eyes :tongue:. I can see everything through the mirrors. I suggest you go here: How do you adjust your side mirrors? and see about the proper adjustment for your mirrors. You will see in the gif in TEG's first post that properly adjust mirrors have really no blind spot to hide in.

    -Shark2k
     
  17. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Yes I can see motorcycles and pedistrians in my mirrors all the way around the car until I can see them in my perfrial (sp? - i know that is spelled wrong but spelling escapes me right now) vision. There is no hiding spot. When I changed my mirrors I was surprised at how much I was missing. And I had them set as I was taught in Driver's education. We have learned so much in 40 yrs I was behind the times and did not know it.
     
  18. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    Thanks for the link. I didn't realize that blind spots could be so small. Perhaps I need to adjust my mirrors.

    And when I said "looking with your own eyes", I meant seeing the car directly (with no intermediaries).
     
  19. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Blind spots should actually be eliminated using this method. It does take some getting used to because when they are adjusted properly you do not see the sides of the car at all and that is diconcerting at first. You should see something move from the center mirror to the sides and then it will move to your actual vision.
     

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