Blind spots are one of the most dangerous things that a driver has to deal with.
They are areas of a car that a driver cannot readily see.
When you hear “blind spot”, this usually refers to the area just behind a car’s C-pillars that cannot be seen via the rear view mirror.
For a driver to see them, he or she actually has to turn back. Hence the term, “checking your blind spot”.
“Seeing” in your blind spots
The first step to getting better “visibility” in your blind spots is to ensure you’re in the proper driving position.
You should be sitting straight, with your elbows and knees bent. You should be able to depress the pedals with minimal effort.
This is critical in situations when you need to e-brake.
If you are sitting too far back, you’ll never be able to effectively slam on the brakes in an emergency.
Next, adjust your wing mirrors such that you’ll only be able to see a bit of your car’s body.
It may feel hard to park at first, but with your mirror angles like this, you’ll be able to cover more of your blind spots.
More glass might be better
Some drivers attach oversized rear view mirrors to their existing one. This widens the angle of your rearward visibility.
However, I prefer not to do this, as an oversized rear view mirror means I can’t properly utilise my sun visors.
Aesthetically, it also doesn’t look right. But if it works for you, go for it.
If you’re shopping for a car, it may be worthwhile to consider one that has a Blind Spot Monitor.
Blind Spot Monitors work using a sensors mounted in the rear of the vehicle, which detect other cars in the blind spots.
If you attempt to filter into a neighbouring lane and there is another vehicle, the Blind Spot Monitor can warn you via indicator lights on the wing mirrors (as seen above), play a warning chime or both.
In some cars, Blind Spot Monitors create pulses that you can feel via the steering wheel.
More advanced systems even have steering assist, which helps steer your vehicle back into its lane.
Perhaps the best way of spotting vehicles in your blind spots would be to keep practising.
Utilising the tips I shared, you can become more accustomed to scanning for other vehicles in your blind spots.
Watch out for motorcylists, as they are especially easy to miss given their relatively smaller profiles.
And don’t forget, the bigger the vehicle, the bigger its blind spots.
Don’t linger in a lorry or tipper truck’s blind spots and expect them to spot you!