Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Side View Mirror Setting

Most people set their side view mirrors to partially show the rear quarter of their car. A few years back, I heard Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk counsel someone to try a different method. I have been using this technique ever since, and I am very happy with it. The wide setting method virtually eliminates rear quarter blind spots by moving the side mirrors out somewhat to reduce overlap with the rear view mirror. Here is a diagram (click for full size):

It is important to note that you don't move the mirrors out so far that you have no overlap at all. By having a little overlap, you continuity between your rear view and side views.

The downside to this method is that you can't automatically see what is immediately beside and to the rear of your car, which is even more of a problem for vehicles with poor rearward visibility such as trucks and SUVs. To see what is beside you, you need to lean forward and left or right a little, depending on which side you want to see. Overall, though, I find I am much more frequently interested in lane changing safely than in backing into a parking spot.

Cartalk has a detailed explanation here.


Omar said...

I heartily recommend this adjustment. My goal, when a car is passing me, is to have the front bumper appear in my peripheral vision before the rear bumper disappears from the side mirror. I still shoulder check, but I don't lose sight of cars in neighbouring lanes anymore.

To make sure I don't go too extreme, I expect to see the side of my car just by moving my head a few inches to the side.

Jeff Weimer said...

I heard the same Car Talk and use this technique too. It makes me move my head side to side when changing lanes.
I get a full scan of the area that way and I don't have to turn my head to check anymore.

Eric said...

I do this as well. The method I learned was, when setting the two side mirrors, lean your head in the direction of the mirror as far as reasonably comfortable, and move the mirror outward so that you can barely see the side of the car. This works for both driver and passenger mirrors.

Brian said...

I was taught this method by my Driver's Ed teacher in high school. Everyone who I tell about this thinks I'm crazy, but I think it's great! I will bookmark this for future reference.

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Charly Fox said...

Hello there, I fully agree to the article. In our company, as well as in many other big international logistics companies, drivers even strongly recommended to adjust side mirrors like this.