What if I Told You That Vehicles Don’t Have Blind Spots? - ITS Tactical

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What if I Told You That Vehicles Don’t Have Blind Spots?

By Jason Crist

driving article infographic combined-01

Most of us spend at least some part of our day driving a motor vehicle and unless you’re reading this from your apartment in NYC, I’ll say nearly all of us do. Driving is also the most dangerous thing folks do on a regular basis, even considering the fun and dangerous stuff most ITS readers enjoy frequently.

Driving is a physical action we engage in very frequently and like other activities, just because we do it every day, doesn’t mean we’re doing it right. The repercussions of doing it wrong can be dire, few things in our everyday lives that involve the forces that hurtling down the interstate at 80 mph do.

Jason Crist Mirrors

As a performance driving instructor and racer, I have a fairly good grip on vehicle handling dynamics. Those skills have been developed over years of instruction and track time, but one of the best lessons learned was picked up on day one. In my first classroom session, the instructor promised each and every one of us that we’d been setting our mirrors wrong since we started driving. He was right and I’ll bet the overwhelming majority of you do also.

Blind Spot

We are all familiar with the term “blind spot,” it’s one that’s used in countless police reports, on television in car advertisements and in every day driving situations; it’s an accepted phenomenon to say the least. Not to sound like Morpheus, but what if I told you that the blind spot didn’t exist?

Sure, in certain vehicles it’s impossible to get full rear-vision but those are few and far between and mostly include box vans with no rearview at all. It’s not your fault, believing in the blind spot, it’s been hammered into your head since day one.

You were never instructed how to eliminate them in driver’s education, hell even car companies upsell their cars to you with “blind spot sensors” and such. As a matter of fact, many vehicles don’t have the proper range of mirror movement to get wide enough. Why is this? Unfortunately I can’t answer that question, but I can help make you safer and more situationally aware.

The world is overwhelmingly oblivious to the topic, but this article isn’t the only one in existence to address it. I did come across other visual diagrams but felt they were lacking in certain aspects and we’ve created our own to help you visualize proper mirror adjustment.

driving article infographic1-01

The problem is simple; overlap. You don’t need to see the same thing in the side mirror and the rearview mirror. The poor adjustment images represent improper setting of your mirrors and show the sides of your own vehicle, in addition to the car directly behind in all three mirrors. However, you can’t really see the red car which sits in the “blind spot.”

The fix is to simply adjust your side mirrors further out until you have little to no overlap between them and what’s displayed in the rearview mirror. This is illustrated in the proper adjustment images above. What you’re doing is increasing the width of what you can see by eliminating the overlap.

The Fix

I was taught a simple way to set my mirrors correctly and I’ll pass it on to everyone here. Sit inside your vehicle on level ground, while keeping your head level and looking forward. Now, lean to your left until your shoulder touches the inside of your door and then keep leaning until your head touches your window.

This may seem awkward, but stick with me. In this leaned over position to your left, now look into your mirror and adjust it to the normal picture you’re used to, picking up a small amount of your door. When you return to center you shouldn’t see the side of your car at all in the mirror. Now, lean your body and head over to your right, just above the center console and set the right side mirror to display what you saw in your left mirror while you were leaned over.

driving article infographic2-01

This method is a simple way to start, but you should make adjustments while you’re driving. Watch cars in your rearview as they approach, do they appear in both the rearview mirror and a side mirror? If so, widen your side view. You can even have someone walk around your car while in a parking lot.

A little overlap is acceptable and as I mentioned earlier, some cars don’t have the range to widen the mirrors out far enough. It may take a while to get used to this adjustment after doing it, but the first thing you’ll notice, other than superior vehicular SA (that sounds awesome), is that the landscape in both side mirrors is rolling by very quickly. This may be a little disorienting at first, but you’ll get used to it pretty quickly.

Now that you’ve equipped yourself with the knowledge to defeat the dreaded, yet fictitious “blind spot,” go forth and teach your friends and family. Being safer on the road doesn’t just mean improving your own driving skills, it’s a “two way street” and your safety depends on the actions of others. Spread the word, for all of us!

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Jason is a small business owner in Virginia specializing in Physical IT Infrastructure & Electronic Security. He’s also an administrator and instructor with BMWCCA Club Racing Schools. Jason has attended the ITS Muster each year and we’re stoked to have him as a Life Member!

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Discussion

  • sP01LR

    unfortunately, the people I preach this to is the average reluctant-to-any-change people. They don’t like change, even though it’s for the better.

  • FrederickFrog

    My parents taught me this when I started driving.  I still probably don’t go as wide as I should.  However, I consider it right if I can see a car passing me either in the mirror or the corner of my eye: without a time in between when I can’t see it.

  • Indy517

    I first started using this technique after listening to a bit on Car Talk back in the early ’90s. It works really well for me, but trying to explain this method to friends and family has always met with resistance/indifference. I’ve also found that some vehicles just don’t allow the side view mirrors to be adjusted that far out–and still leave a small blindspot. I’m looking at you Mazda.

  • Godzillamom

    This subject has been a topic of debate since our marriage 20+ years ago.  Your explanation and photos finally became the aha moment for me; especially the sentence “You don’t need to see the same thing in the side mirror AND the rear view mirror”.  Somehow the why never got through to me before.  I promise to give it a chance. – from a chronic overlapper

  • jdrch

    I agree with this method, though I must admit it’s VERY unnerving to not see the side of my car in my left and right mirrors. That makes me think I have a blind spot even when I don’t.

    • JCrist

      jdrch very honest reply and I am thankful you are giving this a try.  The fast moving landscape you see when you make the change damn near made my carsick when I first starting doing this.  Thanks for the read and thanks more for committing to be safer!

    • jdrch

      JCrist No problem, man. I guess it takes some practice. Even though I can see everything, because I can’t see my car I have trouble locating the things I can see relative to where I am.

    • JCrist

      jdrch JCrist It’s breaking the habit, after that you will be good.  Well, mostly… Last week I drove from VA to Savannah GA and back to teach race school.  As I was passing cars on 95 and watching the overlap I notice I had let my mirrors creep in.  So I will freely admit that it’s more natural to have a narrower view.  It’s one of those things we need to keep a check on.  Again, watch cars as you pass them go from your vision, to side view, to rearview.  It’s easier to check the overlap from side view to peripheral when a car is closing on you so keep that in mind too!

  • Nash

    Well, as a motorcyclist I’ve always said that there are no blind spots… only stiff necks! No matter how you adjust your mirrors, please keep turning your head a bit to check your sides (green and orange cars in the picture are already there)

    BTW, on my car I keep the left mirror slightly upwards to see better in the distance, and the right one slightly downwards to check curbs, etc. while parking… they are big mirrors anyways 😉

  • ceese

    Cars do have blind spots – doesn’t work for motorcycles, cyclists and scooters.

    • JCrist

      ceese Many cars do limit the range and can cause problems but I implore you to give this a try to increase range where you can.  Saying that blind spots can’t be eliminated as a blanket statement is wrong though and gives people who don’t want to change for the better a reason to not!
      I do like extended range mirrors on my Ford Focus ST, the top edges are split to give even more range to the side.  Thanks for reading!

  • SpaceFromGreece

    OK but how can i check if my car can enter a parking spot backwards on reverse? In Europe this is everyday life, that’s why most driving schools say that you must see the back corners of the car in each review mirror.
    Any comment about that?

    • greg rundlett

      SpaceFromGreece correction, there is one rearview mirror, and two SIDE view mirrors.

    • greg rundlett

      SpaceFromGreece  If you’re going to backup, turn your head to look out the rear window.  If you’re literally in a tricky situation and want to use your mirrors but can’t see what you want to look at, then adjust your mirrors.  I’ve driven for over 30 years using my mirrors properly and have never encountered a situation where I backed up using only mirrors – except for driving large commercial trucks.

    • Mechanomoll

      greg rundlett SpaceFromGreece  I’d have to agree with SpaceFromGreece. It’s required here (Ireland) that you back in, not drive in. I drive a van and have no rear view, so turning my head isn’t an option. I keep the barest edge of my vehicle in the mirror as a reference point. I’ve been doing that since the rearview mirror in my pickup fell into my lap getting on Interstate 5 many years ago.

    • Geoff

      SpaceFromGreece Buy a Volkswagen.  My 2000 VW Passat deals with this dilemma by powering the right side mirror into a different (down and in) position that you can program to your liking!  It moves to this position automatically each time you shift into reverse and then moves to “normal” position when you shift out of reverse.  And this “parking” mode is controlled by a switch as well, so you can turn it off if you find all the motion distracting when you’re not concerned with the curb or other obstacle.

    • JCrist

      @Geoff SpaceFromGreece This can be helpful but the mirrors on my E39 M5 went all the way down to the curb and I didn’t like that and usually defeated the feature in programming

    • JCrist

      SpaceFromGreece Thanks for reading bud.  Backing into a tight space is the only time I lean over to check the space at the side of my car.  As I mentioned in the setup, with your head over to the window you should be able to see the edge or close enough.  Give it a try and see what you think!

    • SpaceFromGreece

      JCrist .SpaceFromGreece using your proposed setting for last 2 weeks i found out that positioning my side mirrors into a position “just” not seeing my car allows me to benefit of less blind spots and when reverse parking it’s enough to lean my head a bit towards the side mirror needed. Reversing is always very slow so it’s completely doable.
      Thanks for the great insight !

  • Rufus67

    So I tried this starting last night. Some observations:
    If I stick with it this is going to take a lot of getting used to. Generally I have very good driving SA with the mirrors the incorrect way, with one or two attempts per year to go into a lane that’s occupied. I’m used to the view/vision provided, can anticipate what cars are going to do based on speed, and am aware of what traffic in other lands may do as well. Because a major component of that is now gone my gyros are spinning a bit.
    Case in point – this morning’s commute provided a good example of the benefits of a such a mirror arrangement while reminding me to be cautious while transitioning. As cars moved out of the mirror to pass they then moved into visual range. So far so good (no double coverage in mirrors to maximize overall covered area, able to track traffic, etc.). The difficulty was having that register in my brain. When I saw headlights I thought I was clear to change lanes but didn’t see there was a car that had already moved in front of the one in my mirror. While I’m trying this arrangement out I’m being more aware a signalling in advance and looking over my shoulder before moving so no harm done – just a good lesson on needing to get more comfortable with the setup.

    I’m still trying to figure out if I like the setup or not but wanted to share some impressions.

    • JCrist

      Rufus67 Thank for reading this Rufus and thanks on behalf of all drivers on the road for trying to improve yourself!  One or two times a year moving in to an occupied lane is an accurate and honest assessment, and it’s one or two times too many.  A high speed collision can kill, the forces at play are well beyond what we can survive many many times.  
      Keep in mind in a racecar equipped with the proper Halo seat and Hans doesn’t allow for moving your head side to side much.  Of course, we have large convex mirrors but the point is, it’s safer to glance left and right than to turn your head over your shoulder.  Stick with it and you will be a better driver for all of us!

    • Rufus67

      JCrist Rufus67 A little more feedback/impressions now being a week in:

      For better/worse (worse, I know…) I’ve relied on three mirrors to show me the same thing in each for over 30 years of driving (i.e., what’s right behind me). It’s disrupting my normal scan to maintain SA now that I’m only using the center mirror for that. It should make it simpler and more comprehensive but instead I’m having a very difficult time making the transition. It’s a “me” hang-up but if I don’t acknowledge it I can’t get over it.

      I do like not having some jackwagon’s brights and fog lamps blinding me on three mirrors now. My center mirror is auto-dimming so that issue’s basically disappeared.

      As I’m passing people and shifting lanes now (i.e., moving into the space in front of the car I just passed) their headlights shift on the adjusted side mirrors. The impression given is that they’re moving rapidly to change lanes directly behind me and that freaks me out. I’m getting more used to the sensation as it happens more often but it’s still something I notice.
      Most of my driving’s done at night/early morning with no sun for my commute. I’m going to be very curious to see how this works during regular daylight/not-so-crowded traffic conditions.

  • Spevas

    Good article- this is something that most people don’t think about. There really is no right and wrong though. It is very difficult to judge a car’s distance using those “Object in mirror may be closer than it appears” side-view mirrors, and moving the mirror so you can just barely see the side of your own car makes it a lot easier to judge distances.

  • rk4262

    I guess it comes from a few years driving big rigs, but when I buy a new car the first place I go is the parts house and get some of those small round stick on mirrors. I really like the one’s that have a slight angle, so they show an area even farther to the side of the car. I got used to driving with both a regular and convex (concave?) mirror both on each door, for four total, plus an extra one at the far end of the hood as far out to the side as possible, so that I could see a car from anywhere from 2 miles behind me, until I could see it both in the very front mirrors, and out of my peripheral vision through the window. Now when I get in a car without the extra little round things, I am so paranoid I’m going to hit something/someone. I didn’t realize just how much I depended on the extra mirrors until I went on a family vacation to Chicago, driving on the interstates at 85-90 mph, and couldn’t see what was beside me because I couldn’t take my eyes off the road long enough to get in the right position to see out beside me. I took an exit and stopped at the first parts house I came to and I haven’t had a car since without putting those on. I just wish I could put some of those big truck mirrors on my car.

    • JCrist

      @rk4262 round mirrors are awesome and I have one on the drivers side of my racecar that gets a quick check EVERYTIME I turn in to a specific turn on my home track.  It’s a 130mph turn that a good friend of mine got pitt’ed into.  Bad deal.  The thing about the round mirror I use is that a car is only visible if it’s bumper overlaps my rear fender.  That’s especially useful when racing as you may come down on a car with only inches to spare.  Hopefully everyone provides a little more buffer in highway driving!

  • KenJones1

    Yeah, they try to teach this in the EVO courses now.  Now, when I’m trying to back in an emergency I have to bang my head against the glass to see down my left side.  No, thank you.

    I, too, used to drive big rigs.  Not only do I adjust my mirrors so with only a bit of a tilt of the head can I see the side of the vehicle I also add the convex mirrors.  Consequently, I can back a vehicle faster with my mirrors than most guys can turning around and looking behind them.  …and I can start backing quicker because I don’t have to turn around in my seat.
    Long story short, you still have to look over your shoulder no matter how you adjust your mirrors.  It’s the folks who don’t that try to run you over.  Believe me, I worked an accident where a woman didn’t see the SEMI truck to her left.  I could tell where she was by the damage to her vehicle.  All she had to do was turn her head and she would have seen the bright yellow truck and his headlights.

    Additionally, the above scenario still lends itself to not seeing motorcycles.

    Do what you’re comfortable with, but there is no way to completely eliminate blind spots.  Always turn your head to check your blind spot.

    • JCrist

      KenJones1 Everyone’s peripheral vision is different but I do not have any area that is not visible from my side mirror and my normal vision.  As a precaution I always turn my head to the left after a solid mirror check but certainly do not turn my head.  Turning  your head can blind you to what’s always most important – things happening in front of you like stopping traffic, obstacles like debris or animals and the like.  Most importantly, a car at either side should in most cases NOT be a surprise as constant scanning and awareness should keep you aware off traffic at all times, and be knowledge you use when making a lane change, not just when you decide to make one!

    • KenJones1

      JCrist KenJones1 As a motorcycle rider I’m constantly checking other people’s heads.  It’s a clue as to what they’re about to do.  Many a time I see people looking in their side mirror, but never look to the side.  This is a clue someone is about to change lanes into me.

      The assertion that one should always be aware of vehicles around them if they are always scanning only holds water on long multl-lane roads.  When cars are merging and a lot is happening around you it’s easy to miss a car in your blind spot.  People merge into your blind spot a lot.
      With proper following distance there is no danger in turning your head to check your blind spot.  I’m not talking about turning around a looking behind you.  I’m talking about turning your head and checking that area that even your illustrations above show as a blind spot.  It’s takes a split second to save the life of the motorcyclist you’re about to run over.  

      Driving in the real world is not like driving SCCA or other road course-style events.  There is a mix of vehicles–vehicles that will easy get into and hide in your blind spots, and you’ll never know they are there until you turn your head and look.

    • JCrist

      Thanks for the reply Ken, not sure where there is any argument here other than blind spots can be eliminated with proper mirror angles. I’ve riding motorcycles as well, since the age of 5. I’m really nervous on the road with other drivers simply because of the physics and lack of protection afforded by a motorcycle. Making lane changes certainly applies to a multi-lane road and is where this article is most applicable. The problem with your argument and most of those on this thread is that people are reluctant to change. You referenced cars gettin into your blind spot in the last few se ranches of your reply. That’s really the deal. Thanks for reading and contributing.

  • guest

    FYI the WordPress theme you’re using doesn’t render properly on Facebook’s new in-app mobile browser (at least not the one for iOS). The textured grey background appears to be rendering on top of the majority of your content (did not plug my phone in to do any debugging). Tested it in Mobile Safari, and Chrome for iOS also. Works fine in those browsers. Something worth looking into though as I suspect a large portion of your traffic is coming from mobile users through Facebook links.

    • @guest Hi, I’m not seeing any issues on FB’s in-app browser. Can you check again and see if you’re still having issues? Thanks for the heads up, we’ll continue to monitor this.

  • Guest

    And what if I told you that all vehicles have blind spots!  This is a very silly, and somewhat ignorant article  . . . blind spots are not about the mirrors so that you can see what’s going on behind you (and, to the frank, the crash risks are mainly to the front and to the side).  They are about what you can’t see ahead and to the side of you . . . . the blind spot created by driving too close behind the vehicle ahead, the blind spot created by the truck or van to the side of you, the blind spots created by the A-pillars.  Just think about these points and go back and revise your training.  Grrr!  It is so irritating that this sort of mirror-centric training is still being promoted to drivers!  If you’re a motor racing driver, then knowing where the competitor is behind you and manoeuvring to block him is what you do in the competitive environment of a racetrack, but it is not the road and it is not real life.

    • JCrist

      @Guest I am extremely reluctant to respond to this but here goes nothing.  The “blind spot”, what and where it is- is not in question.  It’s the area to your side and slightly back and is caused by setting mirrors in a manner that overlaps a great deal of what you can already see in the rear-view.  The same area manufacturers use radar to alert drivers of a vehicle being present.  That area is completely viewable in the majority of cases with proper mirror angles as described in this article. The article advocates the opposite of your charge of “see what’s going on behind you”, it’s really about seeing what’s behind you only once, not in three different mirrors.  I can’t really see what blind spot the A-pillar creates in normal driving, certainly in some intersection encounters but nothing patience can’t remedy, certainly nothing that can be addressed by proper mirror placement.  Probably inadvisable for me to even address your post, it’s anonymous and most likely just an troll, but if you’d like to return, have a discussion and put your name on it, I’d be glad to participate.

    • Bob Dale

      JCrist I can see what guest is saying that if guest looks to the right guest sees the a pillar and that is guests blind spot. This would only partly be fixed by the mirrors but proper seat placement could fix the rest of it.  I am tall and I run into this problem with some cars mostly smaller cars(Ford Focus and Mazda3) so I have a car that fits my body and I eliminate the blind spots with mirrors and not leaning my seat back like a dumb ass..

    • JCrist

      I’m tall too at 6’5″ so I understand the struggle! While the A pillar (and sometimes B pillar) can provide obstruction it’s in the direction of travel as well as in the direction of where you are looking 95+% of the time. Having your mirrors set properly helps provide as much SA as possible in areas you aren’t facing and using direct vision to scan. Can the A pillar block your view sometimes? Sure, and it’s not addressable with the side mirrors.

  • Douglas Walker

    What if I told you that “Guest” was terribly wrong? However two things are certain, there is a plethora of misinformed “experts” like “guest” and proper mirror adjustment eliminates blind spots, but your driving coach at the local high school didn’t teach you this so it can’t possibly be true. Proper mirror adjustment is essential for safety, although generally overlooked, the real danger lies ahead, and training people to glance behind them is both dangerous and misinformed. The most interesting part of this debate is you’ll never see a professional driver look behind themselves. The article speaks for itself, it is a well written explanation of a technique used by professionals that can be adapted to the real world. One can choose to take Tiger Woods’s swing advice or subscribe to the techniques ponificated by persons who post anonymously on blogs. Caveat emptor, and duh.

  • hidyn

    Tried this out for the past few days and I’ve been much more comfortable in traffic! I was shocked but it actually feels better. Thanks Jason!

  • Nerocaols

    I used do this when I drove in the States, but when I’m driving in Asia this wouldn’t work because there are way too many scooters and bikes that often drive very close to your car.

  • John4

    Great article Jason, long time no see.
    I can say this method works for me and I try to pass it to family members but they are reluctant to change. I feel it’s due to they way they were taught and being resistant to get out of their comfort zone. My instructor put it to me this way, “why do you need to see your car in your side mirrors, when you know where it’s going?” It’s a comfort thing no matter what people say. Adjusting your side mirrors out definitly helps seeing cars on either side. Those who try, drive on the highway and watch a car go from the rear mirror, into the side mirror it’s passing, and then into your periphial vision. IT WORKS, on the street and the racetrack. Knowing where your vehicles “4 corners” are will also help the mirror adjustment process too.

    • JCrist

      Thanks for stopping by John!

  • MalavikaMurali

    Do blind spot mirrors not help at all then? Does this article mean to say that buying blind spot mirrors or sensors is unnecessary?

    • JCrist

      Hi and thanks for taking the time to comment! Blind spot mirrors work great if you don’t adjust you mirrors properly. Depending on the vehicle you may not be able to widen your mirrors enough to cover the gap between side view and your peripheral vision. In that case they would be necessary. That said- I have them in my race car and my street car came with them (Ford Focus ST) as well my Excursion. More is better when it comes to situational awareness.
      Take these steps to align your mirrors and see if it closes the gaps or a you still need the convex mirrors.
      Id like to make that but depends on if I get the car done this weekend

  • BOSTONDACE

    Good tip…thanks for taking time out of your day to share that info..
    (I’ll be setting my car up that way.)

  • JohnM89

    Nice.

  • Joshua Ray Bullock

    False. Lol

  • Chad Burton

    Spy hunter

  • ITS Tactical

    Have you read the article Joshua?

  • Joshua Ray Bullock

    Yes, just going against the norm because I’m from Kentucky.

  • Sean Alan

    I’ve adjusted my mirrors this way for years… You can even physically move the position of your head slightly from left to right to see a wider field of view in the rear view mirror if your rear window permits.

  • Calvin Tait

    I have cameras in my rearview mirrors that show everything from right next to me and 3 lanes away, plus the rear camera. It also has night vision. No hassles. In my Porsche, I have a 360-degree view with the top down, but no cameras.

  • Joshua Ray Bullock

    Campers and vehicles where rear views can’t be used.

  • David A Taylor

    Mirror? What’s a mirror?

  • Owen Kreuter

    Your head on a swivel would prevent blind spots to begin with! So many times I have seen some one check their mirror without looking to the side to double check!

  • Mat Pytka

    With a flat mirror it’s impossible to see the entire angle of the side of the vehicle, that’s just common sense.

  • David Perry

    Works for my cars

  • Jamie Lowe

    This is completely true. I don’t even turn my head to look because I know my mirrors don’t lie.

  • Ron Benson

    Actually have you ever been in an early 2000 dodge Durango? That truck had blind spots in the front. You literally had to shift your body to see when making a turn.

  • Andrew Robinson

    Most of the time I just close my eyes and mash on the gas.

    • gibsonjont

      You and every other female behind the wheel… (no offense meant towards competent female drivers)

  • Chuck Skaggs

    Excellent info. Takes a little tweaking, but has worked fantastically for me. Appreciate all you folks do over at ITS.

  • Mark Young

    They do, but it’s the A pillars.

  • Ronnie FiField

    A pillars on trucks are a blind spot js

  • Michael Kane

    Todd L. Schreiber

  • Andrew Arbaugh
  • Landon Meyer

    i HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS ALL ALONG

  • Jason Reese

    If your mirrors are adjusted correctly, you have no blind spot. But you still need to move your head and use your eyes

  • Joshua Ray Bullock

    Box trucks as well as if you are towing a trailer .

  • Peter H Scrooby

    If there are no blind spots, what are the areas in the picture of proper adjustment that are not gray that extend from the doors to behind the rear bumper?

  • Brax Bullion

    Lol suv is a FJ cruiser

  • Kurt George

    I have a few more blind spots than the average driver does during my day

  • Jesse Lott
  • John McCullough

    Randi McCullough, see I told you

  • Richard Finneran

    Actually they do in stupid people.

  • Mark Hanes

    Who’s caring about blind spots anyways when they are all looking at thier phones anyways……just say’n. I’ve never felt this unsafe on the road and it’s getting worse daily.

  • Tyler Franke

    Yes this improves your area of view dramatically but you will still always have blind spots

  • Mike Jahnke

    Those are atypical vehicles, this pertains to normal, every day cars, pickups, and SUVs. The average reader of this article doesn’t drive one of those regularly.

  • Mike Jahnke

    …or not even use the mirror at all.

  • Ron Benson

    A blind spot for motorcycles.

  • Peter H Scrooby

    Or little kids when u back up in a parking lot.

  • Joshua Ray Bullock

    The average reader is probably tacticool, considering the audience.

  • Tøby C Engel

    Please fit a car in those.

  • Courtland Smith

    I doubt the author drives a semi truck like I do

  • Matthew Skibert

    There’s always one

  • Freddie Startup

    The author apparently never drove a Toyota mr2.

  • Matt Weant

    Tøby C Engel yeah but what if it’s a midget clown on a motorcycle checkmate loserface

  • Jason Deckman

    You don’t need to see the side of your own vehicle.

  • Mat Pytka

    The side of the vehicle, not your vehicle, bud.

  • Daniel Easterday

    The point is that you don’t need to swivel your head at all, and you can keep your eyes more forward.

  • Owen Kreuter

    Daniel Easterday your head should ALWAYS be on a swivel, your safety may depend on it.

  • David Mesce

    Why does the poor adjustment make the middle mirrors view narrower? If you left the side mirrors the way they were in “poor adjustment” and actually showed the real view of the middle mirror the “blindspots” would be even smaller.

  • Michael Garcia

    I’ve rolled with my mirrors like this for about a year now. I also added some stick on mirrors. I still check and don’t just trust my mirrors but I love being able to see so much

  • John Butterworth

    WOW !!! I’ve never heard anyone say that before, except MEEE ! I’ve said that all my driving life. I’ve also always said that if someone has a “blind spot”, maby they shouldn’t even be driving. Well, I just now looked at the post, and there is one thing I don’t fully agree with I believe that you need to see just a little hint of the side of your own car in both sideviews in order to give some perspective to what you are viewing. Have never seen a situation in my 50+ years of driving that would change my mind on that.

  • Alexi Paizis

    If you can’t see the side of your vehicle in the mirrors it makes backing up around tight corners very difficult.

  • Alexi Paizis

    Not seeing the car in the mirrors makes parallel and reverse 90 parking more difficult.

    • SoDopeSon

      Lol maybe for you, but I live in san francisco, and my mirrors have been set similar prior to this. my friend just sent it to me, and i find it funny. It’s not a technique meant for everyone.

    • gibsonjont

      No, it doesn’t.  Experienced drivers’ cars become part of our bodies.  At least mine did, nearly a quarter century ago.

  • Greyson Morley

    Finally…..

  • Dante Blazewick

    My blind spot is under my car but at that point I don’t really care because I would have had to run over what was under there in the first place and that is so in the past.

    • gibsonjont

      hahaaa

  • Vahn Parsons

    There are no blind spots, only blind drivers…

  • David Dittmer

    I’m with ya brother.

  • William H McCord III

    If you ride a motorcycle, regardless of the current mode of transportation there is NO blind spot

  • Josh Warner

    I have a great solution, don’t ride up the car’s butt and DONT sit beside them barely matching speed with each other. If you’re in the slow lane then don’t speed up to keep from getting passed and if you’re in the passing lane then pass and get over to the right after passing. Stop blocking traffic and speed matching. Problem solved

    • gibsonjont

      There are no things such as ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ lanes…  there are driving lanes, and passing lanes.  /sigh

  • Evan Vittoriano

    “What if I told you that vehicles don’t have blind spots?”
    I would tell you that you’re an idiot that has never driven or towed anything, ever.

  • Evan Vittoriano

    The whole point of the head check is BECAUSE of the blind spots.

  • David Duenke

    I love that you saw that too…totally reminded me of that game.

  • Charles Constantine

    ask anyone who has ever driven a work van in NYC…

  • Alexi Paizis

    This is totally wrong for 2 reasons: 1. If you can’t see your own car in your side mirrors then it makes backing up, specifically with reverse 90 and parallel much more difficult.
    2. The picture below shows two very common situations. In both cases car 1 had determined that it’s clear to move (he only checks his mirrors because he uses the blind spot elimination method), but Car 2 is making a lane change over to the right, which car 1 cannot see because he only checks mirrors. In both situations Car 2 had the right of way. Car 1 does not have the right of way at all in either situation.

    • gibsonjont

      Way to argue with a race car driver there… you win!  smh o.O

    • RoborBob

      gibsonjont I don’t know you but your smug sense of unearned superiority is quite hilarious.

    • RoborBob

      gibsonjont it’s cute when you make dismissive comments that don’t actually refute anything and pass it off as an argument.

    • gibsonjont

      RoborBob gibsonjont The last thing I need to do is refute anything when the article provides all the refutation anyone might need.  Some people just choose to not agree with the article.

  • Ian MacMillan

    Must not have driven a Dodge Charger police package…

  • Mike Skibbe

    You must not have adjusted your mirrors properly.

  • Outlaw Alan Skeletoncrew

    Starting using your method when you first posted it a while back, genius!

  • Jamie Franks

    If you told me blind spots didn’t exist, I’d assume you’d never driven a Chrystler PT Cruiser.

  • Jay Tillitt

    Check the size of the pillars on the Toyota FJ Cruiser. Big blind spots.

  • James Hilliard

    Obviously who ever said that never drove an 18 wheeler.

    • mac

      He is talking about the average driver, and does mention box vans (and by extension, other vehicles with limited rear vision.

    • gibsonjont

      deedadee!

  • mac

    All the people making negative comments here are ignoring the first, basic rule of driving.

    PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS AROUND YOU.   Watch and keep track of what behind you.  If you do that, you will know that the little red car that was behind you shifted lanes and is now gone.  WHERE IS IT?  In your blind spot.  I agree that if you adjust the mirror out further as suggested you have a new blind spot, but once again PAY ATTENTION.  I do this and sometimes if the car has gone off at an exit and I couldn’t see it go because it was in the blind spot all the time, I realize I have “lost” a car. Then you lean forward, look at both side mirrors, and you will be able to see into the blind spot.

    PAY ATTENTION!!!

  • Jonathan Steele

    Drive a chevy hhr lol

  • ThomasBiasi

    cant wait to try it out

  • JCrist

    Haven’t visited in a while and I see things have spiraled a little out of control. For the towing comment- Yeah, because I didn’t tow my racecar to the track….. right. Like politics, people go a little crazy on things they don’t agree with or understand. If you would set your mirrors like instructed and have someone walk around the rear and sides of your car you’d see you aren’t losing any vision, you are just eliminating the overlap. Do the same while driving, if you see a vehicle clearly in both the rear view and the side view you are wasting range. As far as backing into a parking space, yes you have to move your head a little more with the proper mirror alignment but you are stopped. Who will argue 0-5mph is more critical than highway operation? Well, I know you will, folks already have, just wanted to reiterate some data for those who are considering taking some professional advice. U0001f609

  • You don’t see motocycle.
    Blint spot is not completely eliminated.

    • JCrist

      Honorio Nozaki  You are taking the diagram at scale and it isn’t.  If your mirrors are adjusted properly the point in which you can’t see in your mirrors should be in your peripheral.  Would take a ton less time to actually try it than create the very nice graphic .  Thanks for reading!

    • JCrist Honorio Nozaki 
      Hi, how are you?
      I’ve performed some street tests by using a special convex mirror instaled inside car.
      The camera was located exactely betweem  my eyes and the mirrors to avoid any misalignment recording.
      The outside mirror was flat (No curvature).
      The does not show the car.
      Appreciate vídeo below.
      Best regards.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJaIppjkhMc

    • JCrist

      No argument here, convex mirrors add great visibility and situation awareness. In my race car I also had them installed and I would give them a quick check before turning in to make sure I hadn’t missed a car. The issue is they don’t offer much range but you don’t need that in your setup. Like mine, they are there just to check a specific area. As is the concept demonstrated in this article, limiting overlap between your rear view and side view mirrors will cover that misnomer “blind spot”.
      Nice work with your mirrors!

    • gibsonjont

      Honorio Nozaki JCrist cameras don’t have peripheral vision.  I didn’t watch your ‘proof’ video.

    • JCrist Honorio Nozaki
      Appreciate another video.
      Outside mirror does not show my car.
      Best regards,

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJvb6H5Rk3g

    • JCrist

      Honorio Nozaki  recent comment brought me back to the thread so while I’m here I’d like to add that the goal is to have overlap or greatly minimize the transition from peripheral to side mirror vision.  That applies to your modified diagram above.  Thanks again for being such a valuable participant in this thread.

  • gibsonjont

    So many stupid people on the road… The author of the article is right, but stupid always has a bigger mouth.

  • marc

    This is silly, if you want to have a bigger field of view from your mirror use a wideangle mirror. It’s a good thing to keep your rear door handle on your side mirror, it will help you gage the distance the car next to you is in relation to your own vehicle and tell you if it’s clear to cross or not.

    If you move the mirror towards the outside, sure you will gain better vision of what would be in your “blind spot” but you loose entirely the perspective and the relation between your vehicle and the one next to you. 

    Additionnaly I can see lane to lane with my wide angled mirror, you can buy some cheap ones for 5$ or less and stick em’ on your side mirrors and still get a better vision and “situational awareness” than if you would fan out your mirrors…

    • Tddh

      Those wide angled mirrors can and can’t be reliable. I’m an escort driver and have been driving on the road close to three hundred day out of a year and for nine years. Your side rear view mirrors are the most reliable due to merging and passing traffic. Your center rear view may be the only thing to alert sooner of a vehicle or anything that may run into you but don’t just rely on that only.

    • JCrist

      I love wide angle mirrors, more is better for sure. Still don’t agree that there’s much to gain by seeing your door and certainly not at the expense of covering the alleged “blind spot” but can’t argue with having the mirrors to get everything!

  • litemyner

    Call me old school, but how about people use the tried and true method of looking over their shoulders.  I see so many people on the road these days not even using their mirrors much less looking over their shoulder when they want to change lanes.  So while I agree with the above about adjusting your mirrors to lessen blind spots, ultimately it is the driver that needs to be conscious of their surroundings.

    • JCrist

      I agree with your post and it’s worth saying more and more each day with the growing distractions inside our vehicles. If people had their mirrors set poorly but never allowed themselves to get distracted we still would have much fewer issues.
      I would like to point out that the best method is awesome mirror coverage and keeping your eyes as close to forward as possible. I know it’s not completely one to one applicable but during race school I can see when a student is turning his/her head because the hands follow. It becomes a serious issue when we are doing 3-wide drills on a racing surface and the margin is much smaller than highway situations. Just felt like it was worth mentioning the dynamic of turning your head and your hands following. All that said, when I’m in doubt on the street, I turn my head. If on track, I stay where I am lane-wise until I can be sure.

    • gibsonjont

      litemyner turning your head away from the direction your car is moving, sometimes moving very quickly, isn’t terribly smart since it only takes a second for something in front of you to go wrong.

  • DougDennison1

    Good information, bu this article could have been written with 1/4 of the words. 10 paragraphs to get to the point? People don’t have enough time to read that much.

    Here’s what the Car Talk guys recommend: Adjust your mirrors such that when a passing vehicle exits the view of your rearview mirror, it enters the view in your respective side mirrors. Adjust to taste. Even with this method, though, there still can be a blind spot, albeit dramatically smaller.

  • a10miletooth

    The thought that blinds pots don’t exist is about as irresponsible as it gets when it comes to driving. As a driver and rider in California, I would never adjust my mirrors as shown to be “proper” in the illustration because then I wouldn’t be able to see if a motorcycle was approaching during heavy traffic. Even with the mirrors directed to be wide there’s still a blind spot on the side of the vehicle where a motorcycle can fit that you can’t see without turning your head. If people living in areas where filtering is legal, or just common practice, take the advice here and adjust their mirrors so they cannot see between the row of vehicles on either side and end up cutting off a motorcycle or even killing a rider…. it’s too bad that the author wouldn’t be held accountable for that even though it’s his advice that resulted in some person’s head that made them think blind spots are fictitious.

    • gibsonjont

      a10miletooth lol!  Glad you’re in Cali and not WA state, too many bad drivers here already.

    • a10miletooth

      Being conscious of my surroundings makes me a bad driver…. that’s some real special reasoning skills you have there. I’m glad you’re not in California and I’m sure the rest of the riding population is as well. Mainly because in heavy traffic you cannot see motorcycles filtering by looking through the prismatic mirror only. Thinking that you can is dangerous and irresponsible. Please, don’t ever come here, you’d be a threat to our motorcycle population.

    • gibsonjont

      a10miletooth I’m a 30 year motorcycle-riding veteran, so don’t think to presume to tell me what’s safe and what isn’t.  Kthanks.

    • a10miletooth

      A 30-year motorcycle riding veteran who’s apparently a fool or has never lived in an area where filtering is common practice. Take your pick. Because in heavy traffic you cannot see bikes filtering with your prismatic mirror. That’s just reality whether you want to believe it or not.
      Ahhh… I scrolled down and saw your remark about filtering…. it seems you’re a fool. Thanks for clarifying before I even replied. States would quit painting lanes and people would just filter in any direction…. yeah OK, buddy, we’re done here.

    • gibsonjont

      a10miletooth When riding I do not trust my safety to any ‘laws’ as if they were magical forcefields… anyone who does, then complains that some cager injured them is the fool.

    • gibsonjont

      a10miletooth And ‘filtering’ is about as stupid as stupid gets.  If EVERYONE rode a bike and filtered, the state could completely quit painting lanes on asphalt, everyone could just filter in every-which direction without thought or consideration that their own actions may kill them.  o.O

    • gibsonjont

      a10miletooth You’ve been nothing but dismissive and nasty about other peoples’ long-time experience, why should you expect any respectful comments or replies to you, given your demonstrated demeanor?  Grow up kid.

    • a10miletooth

      Regardless of your personal opinion towards filtering, it’s legal in California and riders do it. Having mirrors adjusted as stated to be “correct” in this article removes the driver’s ability to see motorcycles approaching in heavy traffic. That’s just reality whether you accept it or not. Your experience has no impact on that fact. According to your first comment I’m a bad driver because I’m aware of that fact. I’m sorry but that’s just a stupid thing to say. Then you said that filtering being legal everywhere would result in bikers filtering the wrong direction and states no longer painting lanes….. and I’m the kid? Hahahaha, you’re ridiculous! Either way I’m done talking to you after this. With that said, stay safe on the road and I hope you enjoy another 30 years of riding. If you ever visit California I hope you don’t kill any filtering riders because you think having your mirrors pointed out to reduce the blind spots to the side of your vehicle is the correct thing to do.

    • gibsonjont

      a10miletooth Actually, I point all my mirrors so I can see my head from all angles… ya know, to make sure my hair isn’t out of place.

    • gibsonjont

      a10miletooth Bye!!  Keep trusting laws to keep you safe!

  • gibsonjont

    Again, this article is spot–on.  If you’re worried about bike-riders getting into your ‘blind spot’ without you’re knowing it, watch your rearview more!  Be aware of what is around you at ALL TIMES.

    Driver’s-Ed class does teach students to check their mirrors often, and that’s the trick.  

    Of course, to placate the requirements of laws written for ignorant & skill-less people, one often does have to do the shoulder-check, depending on jurisdiction and Revised Code, to even pass the skills test part of a driving exam.  It doesn’t help at all to tell a driving-test official that your car doesn’t have blind spots, because it’s often written into the Revised Code that ALL vehicles have them, which is a type of ‘lowest common denominator’ law…

    Anyway, the writer of the article is correct.

    • cher af

      gibsonjont No mater how you adjust the mirrors in our expedition, GMC Yukon & F250 there where blind spots.  Turning my head on all three to look for cars to my right the seat backs & the metal support posts also block the same area. I was glad to get sensors for the blind spot on the GMS but still had to add additional mirrors to the vehicle on the right side because sensor does not  give enough warning at highway speeds. So the manufacturer mirrors on all three vehicles left an areas large enough that a midsize car was not visible. Manufactures should be building cars with mirrors that can see these areas. We have added ones on all three vehicles that the allowed that area to be seen. But as they came off the line they had blind spots not mater how we adjusted the mirrors.

    • JCrist

      Absolutely no excuse in a super duty level Ford product, my tow vehicle is an 04 Excursion. Those vics have convex mirrors in the lower portion of the mirrors that I personally choose to use to watch trailer tires for curbs or blowouts. So that using the for close coverage NOT wide beciaee yes- my mirrors are set properly.
      I can only bring you folks to the trough, can’t make you drink.

  • gibsonjont

    @Nerocaols  Anyone failing to maintain assured clear distance have only themselves to blame for their injuries or deaths… no sympathy here, at all.

  • Thebanditone

    What about commercial motor vehicles? There definitely is a large blind spot on them called a trailer and the blind spot on those can change drastically

  • ASDF

    not if i have kids around… i can’t have that gap there behind my bumper.

  • ASDF

    lastly how does the poor adjustment mirror which is parallel to the side of the car overlap the rear view mirror. Your own angles make no phsyical sense.

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