Setting Your Mirrors

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Setting Your Mirrors

Last Changed
04/23/2011 04:45 PM



Setting the Mirrors in your Car

This is a VERY important section of my website and if I can teach just one person how to do this right then my life will have meaning.  Before I begin, there is only one right way to set a mirror in an automobile and it is very import to do so.  Also, it is very unlikely your car will have a "blind spot" if you do this properly.  People who have "blind spots" most likely haven't set their mirrors properly.

Rear View Mirror - Setting the rear view mirror should be easy, but many people think this is a vanity mirror.  This mirror is not.  You should be able to see out of the rear window by simply glancing at it.  You shouldn't have to move your head to see out of the mirror. 

Passenger Side Mirror - Setting the passenger side mirror is also pretty easy assuming you have a mirror that states "Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear" somewhere on it.  If you do not, follow the steps below for setting the drivers side mirror.  You basically want to line up the mirror so that without moving your head you see a tiny part of the rear fender in the mirror.

So far so good... now this is where most drivers I have been with screw up.

Drivers Side Mirror - Hang with me on this one because you are in for a life changing experience.  If you can see your car in the drivers side mirror, you probably have your mirrors set very wrong.  The drivers side mirror in most cars should be pointed way out from the car and setting it is really easy.  The best way is to go into a parking lot and pull up right next to a car.  Now pull forward until the car disappears from your peripheral vision.  Look in your drivers side mirror.  If it is set properly, you will see the car.  Now pull forward until the front of the car is just off of your driver side bumper... you can even get out and check.  You should be just far enough so that you could change lanes without hitting the car.  Look in your drivers side mirror, do you see the car?  If yes, you have done it.  If no, you should repeat this step until you can see the car from the end of your rear bumper until your peripheral vision picks it up. 

I would also add that if everything is set properly, a car passing you will move from your rear view mirror into a side mirror then to your peripheral vision seamlessly without any "blind spots".  Generally speaking, a car behind you should never disappear from your mirrors.

To test this is pretty simple.  Go back to the parking lot and drive past a parked car.  You should see the car as approach.  As the car moves past your peripheral vision some part should be in the side mirror and should stay there until you could safely pull in front of the car without clipping his front bumper.  Once past the car, it should appear in the rearview mirror.  Both the drivers and passenger side mirrors should work this way.

Copyright 2003 Cameron Scott Cole. All rights reserved