All cars have blind spots – those areas beside and behind your car where you just can’t see. Even your car’s side view mirrors do little to help here. This can make driving on multi-lane roads more than a little problematic, particularly if you’re changing lanes to pass someone, or coming up on your exit. Thankfully, a blind spot mirror can help.
When considering blind spot mirrors, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. For instance, how easy is it to affix to your side view mirror? Is it large enough for your needs? How durable is the mirror? Here is some useful information regarding blind spot mirrors:
Adjust Your Mirrors: Before you install a blind spot mirror, make sure that you have your side view mirrors correctly adjusted. Most drivers position the mirror so that they can see part of their own car – this is wrong. You should see very little, if any, of your own car in the side view. It should be positioned so that you can see beside and behind the car.
Size and Shape: You’ll find several different sizes and shapes for blind spot mirrors. Round is the most common, but there are also ovals, rectangles and other shapes. Choose one that fits the shape and size of your side view mirror(for instance, a Buick Century has a very differently shaped side view mirror than an F250).
Mounting Method: Most blind spot mirrors use double-sided tape to affix to the outside edge of your side view mirror’s glass. However, you’ll find some that use suction cups and others are designed to bolt to the housing. Generally, tape or another adhesive is the better option.
Material: Many blind spot mirrors are made from plastic. These are lightweight and affordable. However, there are others made with aluminum for the housing and glass for the mirror itself. These tend to offer a longer lifespan, and provide better visibility (plastic can degrade over time and through exposure to UV rays).
While not legally required, a blind spot mirror is an extra safety precaution that will help keep you and your passengers safe.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Blind Spot Mirror and was authored by Valerie Johnston.