William E. Van Tassel: Changing lanes without seeing another vehicle is a frequent cause of collisions. However, by making just a few adjustments to your side mirrors, you will have a much better idea of what's going on all around your vehicle.
With side mirrors set using the traditional method, there are large blind spots, one to the left rear and one to the right rear. These blind spots are so large that an entire vehicle can be hidden from your view. But by adjusting your mirrors slightly, you will be able to see directly into those blind spots.
To adjust the driver side mirror, rest your head against the closed window. Set the mirror to just barely show the edge of your vehicle. To set the passenger side mirror, lean to the right so that your head is directly below the rear view mirror or above the center console.
Make the same adjustment to this mirror that you made to the driver side. If you don't have remote mirror adjustment control, you may need assistance when adjusting the passenger side mirror.
With the new settings, you will have nearly seamless visual contact around your vehicle. For example, if a vehicle in the next lane is going to pass you, you will first see it in the rear view mirror then in your side mirror and finally in your peripheral vision right through the side window.
If you see a vehicle in either side mirror that vehicle is too close for you to attempt to change lanes. While these new settings may feel strange at first, they can minimize the amount of time that other vehicles disappear from sight.
But keep in mind that even these mirror settings will not completely eliminate all blind spots, that's why you should still do a quick head check just to make sure the space you want to move into is clear.
While these settings may seem strange at first, you'll be able to see much more of what's going on around your car and that will keep you and your family safer on the road.