"I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself"

- Ferdinand Porsche

How to adjust your mirrors

By: Compilation of various authors

Although you may have been driving for years, are you sure your mirrors are adjusted to give you the best, most useful view?

Chances are, you don't have your side mirrors adjusted properly. Lets take a look. Sitting in the driver's seat, looking at the passenger side mirror.



This is probably close to what you see/how you have your mirrors adjusted. About 1/3rd of the mirror looks down the side of the car, the other 2/3rds shows you what is beside you. 

Now, lets take a look in your rear-view mirror: 



Finally, lets take a look out your side window: 



What's wrong with this picture? Let us show you. 



Take a look at the pink squares. What your side mirrors is showing you is NOT what's beside you - it's what's behind you! It's information that is COMPLETELY DUPLICATED by your rear view mirror! 

How to adjust your mirrors PROPERLY



To adjust your mirrors properly, put your head against the left side door glass, then adjust your left mirror OUT until you just barely can (or barely can not) see the side of your car. THEN, move your head to the center of your car and adjust your right mirror out until you can barely (or barely can not) see the side of your car. The goal is to set it up so that once a car leaves your REAR view mirror, it appears in your SIDE view mirror - and once it leaves your SIDE view mirror, it appears in your side window/peripheral vision. Unfortunately, some cars don't let you adjust the mirrors out far enough to completely accomplish this. I recommend experimenting in a parking lot until you get the ideal angle.



Lets take a look at the results of adjusting the right mirror correctly: 



A car! This car was completely invisible to me prior, unless I looked over my shoulder and through the rear quarter window.In some cars (due to the rear pillar), this car would have been completely invisible. 

Now, to further illustrate my point, we will drive forwards about 10 feet until the car appears in my rear view mirror: 



Here, you'll see that it's visible from approximately the rear of the car to the front of the front doors. Now, lets take a look in my side mirror: 



Here, you can see the entire front of the car, including down most of the quarter panel. Essentially, very little (to no) part of the car is invisible. 

Now, lets drive backwards 20 feet (10 feet behind our original position) and take a look in my side mirror: 



Here, the rear 1/3rd of the car is visible. When you look out the side window, this is what you see: 



You can see the car. At this point it will be visible in your peripheral vision without even turning your head. 

With mirrors in their new position, you can see more while essentially eliminating your blind spots. It does take some getting used to - but give it a shot! Just Remember - YOU STILL NEED TO TURN YOUR HEAD!!! Any Motorcycle enthusiast will agree I am sure!

 

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