Reply to comment

I have the final answer to the subject of mirror adjustment and blind-spots. We have several fields of vision around our car:

1.The area directly behind our car and to the sides is covered by the interior mirror. Say, hours 4-7 O'Clock.

2. The areas to our left and right and behind is covered by the side mirrors. Say, hours 4-3 and 7-9.

3. The area to our front and to the sides is covered by our peripheral vision.

Our peripheral vision coverage changes from person to person and it is usually slightly bigger than 180 degrees, and more when we tilt our head slightly to look in the mirror (which also gives us a better view through the mirror itself) and even more so when we do a "shoulder check."

When our mirrors are "closed up" as to see the sides of our car, our side mirrors show us a relativelly small coverage of what is directly behind us but not so much to our sides, basically overlapping with our interior mirror. True, this has the advantage of being able to see behind in spite of obstructions like head restraints and passengers, and it's better for parking - but there are other solution for those issues.

The idea is to open up the mirror so they only overlap as little as we need them to be with the interior mirror. This means that we still don't miss anything (Except for a few centimeters besides our car - too little for anything to fit there), but we see much better to our sides.

If we get it just right - we should be able to see cars and bikes within a lane's width to each side - first in the interior mirror, than overlapped between the interior mirror (near it's edge) and in the side mirror (near it's edge) and than in the side mirror and THAN in the side mirror and our peripheral vision, never fully in between the two and in the blindspot!

The solution is to open the mirrors according to an object behind which should use as a point of reference: If you can see a small object like a person standing five-six feet behind you in the rightmost corner of the interior mirror and the leftmost corner of the right door-mirror, than you got the overlap just right.

In most cars, I've found that you need to open the driver's side mirror untill you just CAN'T see the edge of your own car, and open the passenger's side mirror as described in the article. If you wish to see behind and there's something obstructing your view through the interior mirror - just tilt your head slightly.

However! The blind spot does not vanish completly! It can still often hide a small bike, scooter or cycles, especially if they place themselves across the lane when you are in the center of farside of the other lane, or when they move over from the third lane or from the shoulder of the road. Even when the object is seen in the mirror or peripheral vision, you might get a glimpse of too little of it to actually realize it's there.

The solution for this blindspot:
1. Check the mirrors frequently (eight to ten times per minute as a rule of thumb) so you always know what's around you.

2. Tilt your head gently when you check your mirrors to move over. Check both the interior mirror and relevant exterior mirror.

3. Change lanes late, after signaling in advance and move over as gradually as possible - while taking at least one more glimpse at the interior mirror.

4. Before moving over - make a quick shoulder check. You don't need to turn your head around, just cock it slightly to the relevant direction (30-45 degrees) and quickly back straight before moving over. You can also get a similar effect by leaning forward when you check the mirror.