Mirrors - a Crucial Driving Tool
Trucks often have only the use of side-view mirrors, which makes them a crucial driving tool. The special towing mirrors that are larger and extend farther away from the cab than car mirrors require proper adjustment to ensure a full spectrum of vision and prevent blind spots as much as possible. Knowing how to set these outside mirrors to eliminate blind spots is a crucial part of being a defensive driver.
Positioning Your Mirrors
The following procedures for correctly positioning mirrors will help you eliminate blind spots and avoid potential accidents.
Adjust the driver’s side mirror. Place your head against the window. Start with the mirrors in a perpendicular position to the cab. Begin pulling the mirror in toward you and stop as soon as you can see a sliver of your truck in the right side of the mirror.
Move you head to a normal position. Begin pulling the top of the mirror down. Keeping your head straight, look to your left and move the mirror until you can see the road behind you.
Adjust the passenger side mirror. Move your head to the right until it is in the center of the cab. Start with the mirrors in a perpendicular position. Move the mirror toward you until you can see a sliver of your truck in the left side of the mirror.
Move your head to a normal position and pull the mirror down until you can see the ground next to the trailer in the bottom of the mirror. You have less peripheral visibility in this mirror, so it may have to be tilted down more than the other mirror.
Sit in your normal position and reassess both mirrors. If you think your vision falls short, bring your mirrors up and out a bit. Be careful not to compromise the visibility of the part of the road behind your periphery, as this is the crucial blind spot area.
Checking Your Blind Spot
Those driving trucks must effectively drive with blind spots even when their mirrors are correctly positioned. However, this method should ensure that the mirrors are positioned outward enough to minimize them. To do this, sit in a normal driving position and watch the mirrors as a vehicle passes by. The vehicle should disappear from the side mirror only when it appears in your peripheral vision.
When changing lanes, always indicate to other drivers your intention of changing lanes or turning by using your directional signals. Check outside mirrors carefully for vehicles, and move slowly from one lane to another. Do not change lanes if a vehicle from behind is closing in quickly.