Adjusting your Car Mirrors Tutorial
All round observation is critical for safe driving. Your car’s internal rear view mirror and two side mirrors allow you to see what’s going on behind you and to the sides of your vehicle. It’s important that you adjust your car mirrors so that they provide the maximum visibility possible and to minimise blind spot areas. This tutorial explains how to adjust your internal mirror and side mirrors correctly.
When Should You Adjust your Car Mirrors?
If you are about to drive a car that another person has been driving before you, you must run through the cockpit drill before setting off. The cockpit drill involves making adjustments to the seat so that you can comfortably reach all the controls and also includes adjusting your car mirrors. If it’s only yourself that’s driving the car, you’ll usually need to run through the cockpit drill once, just before you drive it for the first time.
How to Adjust the Rear View Mirror
Use this tutorial to set up and adjust the rear view mirror, or internal mirror as it’s also called. Ensure you have adjusted the seat so that you can comfortably reach all the controls before adjusting the mirrors.
- Plastic mirror surround: To avoid getting finger print smudges and smears on the glass, adjust the rear view mirror by gripping the plastic surround of the mirror only.
- Outline of rear window: As best as possible, sit in your normal driving position and adjust the mirror so that you can see as much of the rear window as possible and as little of your car’s interior.
- Horizon: Adjust the mirror so that the horizon is about half way in the mirror. That’s about half sky and half land that you can see.
- Anti-glare switch: If you have a switch like this on the underside of your mirror, it’s an anti-glare feature. If driving at night and the lights of the vehicle behind you are bright, flick the switch to stop the glare.
How to Adjust the Side Mirrors
Use this tutorial to set up and adjust the side mirrors, or door mirrors as they’re also called. Ensure you have adjusted the seat so that you can comfortably reach all the controls before adjusting the mirrors. Adjust the mirrors while sitting in your normal driving position.
- Horizon: In both the left and right side mirrors, adjust the mirrors so that the horizon (where the sky and ground meet in the middle) falls horizontally in the centre of the mirrors.
- Your own car: Adjust the mirrors so that you can see only a small part of your own car in each mirror.