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Top tips for avoiding blind spot mistakes

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With everyone looking forward to visiting family and friends during the extended bank holiday weekends, we have put together a few tips for you to avoid falling foul of the dreaded driving blind spot mistake. A large number of accidents are caused by drivers simply failing to notice vehicles in their blind spots.

Checking your mirrors while driving isn’t enough, so keep in mind these tips to avoid blind spot mistakes while driving:

1. Your mirror positions may be creating a blind spot

Most drivers position their side mirrors so that the side of their car is visible in the mirror. However this can actually create a blind spot, as the narrow view prevents much of the adjacent lane from being scene.

Side mirrors should be pushed outwards until the view just overlaps the view in the rear view mirror.

2. Don’t only rely on mirrors to look for other cars

Never solely rely on your mirrors to ensure that it’s safe to proceed in a different direction. No matter how well positioned they are, there’s often still a small blind spot and it’s harder to see approaching vehicles. This is especially true if you’re making a move into a middle lane from either the outside or inside lane, and there’s a possibility of another car that might be moving into that same lane from the other side.

Always turn your head to make sure your blind spot is clear.

3. Ensure proper positioning of your driver’s seat

There are three things to take into account when positioning your driver seat. First, your line of sight should be above the steering wheel so that you are able to see the ground 12 to 15 feet in front of your car. Second, you should be able to comfortably see all of your mirrors with minimum movement. Third, you shouldn’t be seated so far back that the B-pillar (the column between the front and rear doors) obstructs your view when you turn your head.

4. Better spatial awareness of the size of your vehicle

Bigger vehicles usually have bigger blind spots. They also mean that you will be taking up more room when you change lanes.  People often follow too closely and even if you see a car immediately to your front and rear in an adjacent lane, there may very likely still be a car in between them.

This is even more likely if you have a larger vehicle or are pulling a trailer. Be sure to take an extra look and make slow moves to give other driver’s a chance to avoid you or at least blow their horn to alert you.

5. Consider the speed of other vehicles on the road

Speed greatly affects how quickly things change on the road. At slow speeds, you can be fairly sure that you won’t be quickly overtaken by a much faster car.  At motorway speeds however, a vehicle may move into your blind spot within a second or two.

This will be compounded if you were not paying close attention to your rear view mirror and didn’t see the vehicle approaching. Always be alert to drivers who may be going far faster than the posted speed limit or otherwise breaking the rules of the road.

Keeping these easy tips in mind should help to keep you safe on the road this summer.

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