Blind Spots

Blind spots are the areas around your vehicle in which you cannot see other vehicles, as you are driving.  Every type of vehicle has blind spots and they are a common cause of accidents when a vehicle changes lanes.  It is important to become familiar with the blind spots that are present in your vehicle, when you are sitting in the driver’s seat and buckled in.

The location of the blind spot depends on the vehicle.  A car typically has blind areas at the sides near the rear of the vehicle, meaning you cannot see anything in these areas by looking in your properly adjusted mirrors.  Other vehicles may be blind to anything that is directly behind them.  Vehicles in which the driver sits very high may have forward-quarter blind spots; they may not be able to see anything low to the ground in front or to the sides near the front.

Adjust your mirrors to reduce the blind spots.  Align the rearview and side mirrors to minimize the spots that you are unable to see while driving.  While driving, check your mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds.  While on the road, you may find that even more mirror adjustment is needed.

Do not only rely solely on car mirrors to eliminate blind spots, because mirrors alone cannot detect all blind spots.  You must physically turn your head to check for blind spots before changing lanes.  Look for a split second.  Put your body at a 45 degree angle and see whether the lane is clear before you change.  If you see a car in your blind spot, wait until it is clear.

Finally, remember that even parked vehicles have blind areas.  Children often play around cars.  Before you start your vehicle and back out of your driveway, take a quick turn around the vehicle to make sure nobody or nothing is under or behind your vehicle.