Side Mirror

Vehicle blind spots are one of the things that you have to deal with as a driver. Blind spots are gaps in what you see in the mirror. Pretty critical if you’re doing lane changes. Personally, I’ve had my brush of close call when changing lanes seeing an empty lane and then suddenly hear an infuriated blast of horn from the car that’s apparently in my blind spot.

Supposedly, car manufacturers have been trying to crack this problem by introducing wide-angle mirrors, radar warning systems, and cameras. However, the best practice, doesn’t require technology assistance nor an addition of those “wide” angle attachments. The stock mirrors themselves can be configured to eliminate the blind spots.

The internet has been a welcome resource to these tweaks. Here’s one pretty helpful video on YouTube and here are a couple of articles that explain the process too (from Car and Driver and from CarTalk). This requires you to push the mirrors outward meaning you shouldn’t see any part of your car in the mirrors.

Quite honestly, I have been doing the “traditional” way of setting up my mirrors for two things. I never really had any problems with blind spots especially when I started driving my wee little hatchback since a quick glance to my sides gave me pretty much the confirmation I wanted. The car’s small. However, I started mulling over this when i started driving larger vehicles (I now rotate between my i10, an Isuzu Alterra and an Isuzu D-Max) where the blind spots are pretty much larger.

When I found out about this, I tried it out. Surely, it did provide the view I needed to minimize the blind spots when driving out on straight highways. However, I did realize that some things are probably not readily applicable to Metro Manila driving. The need to see that wide is only helpful in high-speed highway driving where you do need a good field of vision across lanes.

There’s surely a lot of premium to that but daily Manila stop and go, bumper-to-bumper, lane cutting traffic requires you to see the little gaps between your car (which meant you had to see your car in the mirror) and the guy next to you. The other thing is motorcycles! The moment you push your mirrors out, you basically have to be extra mindful over the place where they love to go – which often is 2 cm from the side of your vehicle. You also have to mind parking since you can’t quite see the back of your vehicle and the curbs.

As with anything on the web, take anyone’s advise with a grain of salt and figure out what works for you.