When you’re behind the wheel, you have to pay attention to what other drivers are doing. However, that’s not limited to those in front of you. You also have to pay attention to drivers behind you, and often to either side as well. That’s why automakers include three mirrors on vehicles – two side view mirrors and a rearview mirror. However, all cars suffer from blind spots. What is a blind spot in car?
Understanding a car blind spot
A blind spot is pretty much what the name implies – an area that you can’t see easily from the driver’s seat. A vehicle can “hide” in your blind spot, making it impossible to see what the other driver is doing (changing lanes, for instance). There are two blind spots in the average vehicle, one on either side of the car, extending from roughly the rear of the vehicle back in a triangle. However, understand that different vehicles have varying blind spots – a tractor trailer has enormous blind spots, for instance.
How to avoid blind spots
There are several ways that you can avoid blind spots and enhance your safety while on the road. The most important is to adjust your side view mirrors properly. You should not be able to see the side of your own car in the side view mirror. You should adjust them outward to provide the widest possible field of view on both the driver and passenger sides of your vehicle.
Another tip is to use a blind spot mirror. These are small, convex mirrors that attach to either your driver’s side view mirror or its housing. The mirror is curved outward, which offers significantly better visibility and can help enhance your safety. The mounting location for a blind spot mirror is generally at the upper outer corner of your side view mirror, but this varies from one car to another. You’ll need to experiment with different locations to find the one best suited for you.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Is the Blind Spot in a Car and was authored by Valerie Johnston.