There’s more to driving than simply being aware of what’s happening directly in front of you.

 

Obviously knowing what’s going on up ahead of you is important, but it’s also critical that your “SAZ” (Situational Awareness Zone) also takes in the activity that’s happening beside and behind you.

 

So it’s important to adjust all of your mirrors correctly in order to maximize your field of view.

 

Positioning the centre rear view mirror is fairly straight forward, it should be positioned so that you can see most - if not all - of the rear screen.

 

Setting that mirror up is fairly easy, but it’s the position of the wing mirrors that many people seem to get wrong.

 

Many people fall into the trap of having the wing mirrors angled so that the sides of the car dominate the image in the mirror. However, it’s of little use to be looking straight down the side of the car. In fact, having the wing mirrors looking down the side of the vehicle will only give you the same view as the internal mirror.

 

It will also increase your blind spot and will limit your ability to see the vehicles beside you.

 

To fix this, fan the wing mirrors out until you just lose sight of the car’s rear quarter.

 

Now, this new position may feel a little odd initially, but by fanning the mirrors out you will maximize your rear vision and give you a better idea on the other cars around you.

 

What you’ll achieve is an overlapping view from all three mirrors.

 

This set up will also help to reduce your “blind spot”. It won’t eliminate it totally, so you’ll still need to do a shoulder check, but it will greatly improve your overall view.

 

Drive Safely

 

Russell White - CARMA Road Safety Ambassador