How To Deal With Blind Spots While Driving
You will come across many potential safety issues when driving a car. One of the biggest worries, and a common cause of accidents, is the blind spot. Every driver will have one, and your blind spot could be bigger than others depending on the vehicle you’re driving. Generally, bigger vehicles have bigger blind spots – if you’re driving a massive truck, the chances are you will have a much larger blind spot than someone driving a little Mini Cooper.
Obviously, blind spots are dangerous, so is there a specific way of dealing with them? Moreover, can you actually eliminate a blind spot with some additional techniques or technology? Both of these questions will be answered in the post below, but let’s start with an even more important query:
What is a blind spot?
A blind spot is basically a spot where you lose sight of any vehicles or pedestrians around you. When driving a car, you need to be aware of everything around you, so you can drive safely and avoid accidents. Thankfully, the way cars are designed means that you have excellent visibility for 90% of the time.
However, because cars are not completely see-through, there is a spot where you can lose sight of a car or person that’s close to you. You’re unable to see it in any of your mirrors, so it has entered your blind spot.
Every single driver will have the same blind spot, and it happens when other cars are trying to overtake you or pull alongside your vehicle. When a car is directly behind you, you can see it through your rearview mirror. When it’s right next to you or off to the side, you can see it in your side mirrors. But, there is a moment when a car is about to pull alongside yours where it is no longer in your rearview mirror or your side mirrors. You can’t even see it in your peripheral vision, so the only way to look at the car would be by turning your head. Of course, this is unsafe as it means you aren’t looking at what’s ahead of you.
Depending on the size of your car, this blind spot can be big or small. The other driver can disappear for a split second or a couple of seconds. Either way, you need to know how to deal with your blind spot!
Why are blind spots dangerous?
Naturally, there is a high risk of accidents when you can’t see another driver. A typical blind spot incident will involve someone trying to switch lanes without realizing there’s a car very close to them in the lane they’re switching to. You check your mirrors briefly, see nothing, and pull out. The next moment you hear tires screeching and get rear-ended by a car. Or, even worse, the car can clip the back of your car and send you spinning across other lanes, causing a pile-up.
How do you deal with your blind spots?
This brings us to the main discussion: how do you deal with blind spots when driving?
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to handle other drivers’ blind spots. If you’re pulling alongside a car and enter its blind spot, you have to hope that the driver has read this article and knows what they can do to avoid causing accidents!
Thankfully, there are many straightforward ways you can cope with blind spots, possibly even removing them as an issue entirely. Here are some thoughts:
To start, you should consider driving a car with technology that specifically caters to blind spots. If you click here, you’ll see that the Mazda6 is mentioned as a good car for teenage drivers because it has Blind Spot Monitoring as part of its car tech package. This means that there’s a system with sensors that will alert you if someone is in your blind spot. As such, you avoid making rash decisions when driving and will know if someone is close to you before you pull out into the next lane.
You can also find these systems that can be attached and fitted to a car. So, if your current vehicle doesn’t already have the technology, it’s possible to install it.
Adjust your mirrors
Always make sure you adjust your mirrors to help you see as much as possible behind you. This is particularly important if you’re driving a new car, a rental car, or you share your car with someone else. Always start your journey by checking the mirrors to be certain they are at the right angles. While this won’t eradicate your blind spot, it will ensure that it is as small as it can be.
The video here goes over how you should properly set your side mirrors, if you’ve forgotten how to do it:
Add extra mirrors
You’ll notice that trucks and big vehicles will have more than one mirror on each side. These have been added to extend the view that the driver gets, reducing the blind spot. A similar approach can be done in regular cars as well. Here, you can get small additional mirrors that fit onto the bottom of your side mirrors. They’ve designed to provide an extra angle of the view behind you, specifically covering the angles that your normal mirrors miss. This makes it incredibly difficult for a vehicle to enter your blind spot without your knowledge.
Be cautious when switching lanes
Always take a moment to double and triple-check your mirrors before you switch lanes. Keep an eye on what’s in front of you and only pull out when there’s enough space between you and the car in front. This gives you time to quickly turn your head and see what’s coming. From here, you can make the move and switch lanes without your blind spot being an issue.
Every driver needs to be aware of their blind spots when behind the wheel of a car. Learn where they are, then take steps to stop them from being a problem.