What Is a Blind Spot, and How Can a Blind Spot Monitor Help You Avoid Collisions?
June 17th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Blind spots impact drivers of all car makes and models. Yet, with the right approach to blind spots, you can limit the risk of accidents and collisions any time a car enters one of your blind spots.
What Is a Blind Spot?
A blind spot refers to an area around your car in which you cannot see the vehicle next to or behind you from your side or rear mirrors.
When a car enters one of your blind spots, you may have no idea the vehicle is there. So, if you decide to switch lanes, slow down, or stop, you put yourself in danger of an accident or collision.
Where Is the Largest Blind Spot on Your Vehicle?
The largest blind spot on your car is usually located on either side of your vehicle, near the back. However, other blind spots are also present and can put you in danger of an accident or collision.
For example, if you have various objects sitting near the back windshield of your car, these items can obstruct your view, resulting in a blind spot. If you are driving with passengers in the front and back seats of your car, they may inadvertently create blind spots as well.
How to Check for Blind Spots
To check for blind spots, you can sit in your car’s driver’s seat, buckle up, and have a friend or family member walk around your vehicle. Look at the side and rear mirrors as your friend or family member walks around your car. The moment you can no longer see this individual, that’s when he or she has entered a blind spot.
How to Properly Adjust Your Car’s Side and Rear Mirrors
You cannot eliminate blind spots, but you can adjust your car’s side and rear mirrors properly to limit their impact. Here are steps to help you set your car’s side and rear mirrors correctly:
1. Sit in the Driver’s Seat
Sit in the driver’s seat in the same way you would as if you were about to drive your car. Position the seat and steering wheel so you feel comfortable and have easy access to your car’s brake pedal, gas pedal, and gear shifter.
2. Set the Rear Mirror So You Can See Out Your Back Windshield
Position the rear mirror so you’re able to look out your back windshield without turning your head. This ensures you won’t need to suddenly turn your head or body around to see out your rear windshield while driving.
3. Adjust the Driver’s Side Mirror
Adjust the driver’s side mirror so you can see the road behind you, along with a small portion of the side of your car.
4. Adjust the Passenger’s Side Mirror
Adjust the passenger’s side mirror so you can see the road beside your car’s passenger side door.
5. Perform a Final Side and Rear Mirror Check
Double-check to ensure your side and rear mirrors make it simple for you to see the road behind and on both sides of your car.
Adjust your side and rear mirrors any time you let someone else drive your car, too. This allows you to reduce your risk of blind spot accidents and collisions.
Tips to Avoid Blind Spot Accidents and Collisions
In addition to properly adjusting your car’s side and rear mirrors, there are other things you can do to avoid blind spot accidents and collisions, such as:
1. Identify Your Car’s Blind Spots
Know where your car’s blind spots are located before you start driving your vehicle. This can prepare you in the event of a vehicle entering one of your blind spots.
2. Scan for Other Cars When You Drive
Glance at your car’s rear mirror approximately every 5 seconds, so you can keep an eye out for other vehicles as you’re driving.
3. Merge Safely
Before you merge onto a highway or change lanes, check your rear mirror for any cars. Next, signal so other drivers know you plan to merge onto the road or switch lanes. You should also check the side mirror depending on the direction you’re going; for example, if you’re entering a highway or lane from right to left, look at the left side mirror. Glance back and forth between your rear and side mirrors until your merge or lane switch is complete.
4. Invest in a Blind Spot Monitor
A blind spot monitor is quickly becoming a must-have for drivers, as it uses sensors to detect cars in your blind spots. With a blind spot detection system equipped with blind spot monitors, you can lower your risk of blind spot accidents and collisions.
Do You Need a Blind Spot Detection System?
A blind spot detection system has been shown to help reduce blind spot accidents and collisions — in fact, a June 2019 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) revealed blind spot detection technologies helped reduce:
- Lane-change crashes by 14%
- Lane-change crashes with injuries by 23%
- Claim rates for damage to other vehicles by 7%
- Claim rates for injuries to people in other vehicles by 8%
There are many reasons why people install blind spot detection systems in their cars, including:
- Increased Driving Awareness: A blind spot detection system keeps you up to date on cars in your blind spots that can otherwise be tough to track while driving.
- Increased Response Time: A blind spot detection system helps improve your reaction time, and if you need to stop suddenly, the system may help you avoid a blind spot accident or collision.
- Increased Driver and Passenger Safety: A blind spot detection system provides peace of mind that a car driver and passengers can travel safely — and reduces the risk of blind spot accidents and collisions.
A blind spot monitor may provide a great starting point for drivers who want to address blind spot dangers. Or, with a blind spot detection system, you can avoid blind spots and the risks associated with them.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Monterey a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the greater Monterey Bay region, including Carmel, Pebble Beach, Del Monte, Seaside, Sand City, Pacific Grove, and Del Rey Oaks.
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