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Correct Mirror Adjustments Can Prevent Auto Accidents

Cars are larger in the U.S. than they have ever been. The average car weighed just over two tons in 2010, meaning that there is a greater risk presented to smaller vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. Not only are larger cars more difficult to control and bring to an emergency stop, but they also offer less side and rear visibility to the driver. With more blind spots than current smaller vehicles and the average car of the past, it is even more important to properly adjust the side view mirrors. Drivers can minimize these blind spots with a non-standard approach to mirror position.

The Old and Wrong Standard for Mirror Adjustment

When most people adjust their side mirrors, they tilt them in enough to be able to see the side of their own vehicle. This offers a view of cars passing on either side, but misses a vital spot to the rear and side of the vehicle. The Society of Automotive Engineers published a paper explaining how drivers could diminish blind spots with a proper mirror adjustment technique. This is performed by angling the side mirrors outwards at more of an angle than most people are used to. The side mirrors are angled out just far enough so that they barely overlap with the view from the rear view mirror. It can be difficult to get familiar with this mirror position, as the driver is no longer able to see their own car in the side view mirrors. While the researchers argue that this technique can completely get rid of blind spots and make turning to look over a shoulder unnecessary, it is not suggested to turn or change lanes without doing so. Mirrors may shift during the drive, or the driver may not see a car in low light or other circumstances, even if it does show up in the mirror. Furthermore, cyclists and motorcyclists may be difficult to see in the mirror because they are so much smaller.

Side View Camera and Radar Technology

Many new cars are being outfitted with cameras embedded in the side view mirrors. Another option is radar to detect cars to the side of the vehicle. Both options can show or alert drivers before they turn or merge, potentially stopping a disaster before it happens. Rear view camera technology also exists for backing up. A small camera is located low on the rear of the vehicle to show the driver a clear picture of the immediate space behind them. This is especially beneficial to smaller children or for tall vehicles such as SUVs that may tower above smaller automobiles.

By properly adjusting your mirrors, you can avoid accidents when you merge with traffic, change lanes, or turn. However, no matter how safely you drive, potential for accidents still exist.

Schottenstein Law Offices Can Help

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, give the law offices of Ed Schottenstein a call today at (614) 467-8474. Your consultation is free, and no fees are charged unless we recover monies from your case. Contact us TODAY!