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  #1  
Old 25 June 2007, 02:25 PM
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Spam & Cookies-mmm Spam & Cookies-mmm is offline
 
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Default How to set your mirrors. (You're probably doing it wrong)

Tom & Ray say
Quote:
For years, we'd been setting our side-view mirrors so that they gave us a view of the back corner of our cars. This is the way it's been done for generations - from grandfather, to father, to us! But we finally discovered something very interesting. The back corner of the car never moves. It always stays in the same exact place. So there's really no reason to keep an eye on it.

By moving the side mirrors farther out, you can line up all three of your mirrors so they have minimal overlap -- and you can see everything behind you and beside you.

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  #2  
Old 25 June 2007, 02:36 PM
Neffti
 
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Interesting idea.

Personally I like to see where the back corner of my car is in relation to the wall I'm about to... whoops!
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  #3  
Old 25 June 2007, 02:49 PM
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You heard about this on Click and Clack this weekend, right????

I've been using this sytem for years now, and it works well. A performance driving instructor taught it to me about 10 years ago.

Think about it. You use your CENTER mirror to see what BEHIND you. The side mirrors should be used to see what's in the lane NEXT TO YOU. Using this method, a car in the lane left of you is in one of your mirrors all of the time until it comes into your peripheral vision. When it transitions from your center mirror, you'll begin to see it in your left mirror. When it transitions from that, you'll begine to see it out your side window, all without twisting around to see where it is. This way, you're not craning your neck all the time, taking your eyes off the road.

It DOES take getting used to, but once you do, every time you use a car not set up like this, or if someone moves your mirrors, (Like a certain DW!!!!) it will bug the heck out of you, and you'll think you're driving with blinders on.

Try it, and give it some time. It DOES work. Trust me, once you get used to it, you'll never go back.
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  #4  
Old 25 June 2007, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Neffti View Post
Interesting idea.

Personally I like to see where the back corner of my car is in relation to the wall I'm about to... whoops!
Think about it. WHY do you need to see the back corner of your car in your side mirror? IT won't ever hit you. The car in the left lane will though, if you don't see it.
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Old 25 June 2007, 02:53 PM
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By moving the side mirrors farther out, you can line up all three of your mirrors so they have minimal overlap -- and you can see everything behind you and beside you.
This is how I learned to do it in driving school. The far right corner of your rearview mirror should just slightly overlap with the left corner of the right side mirror. Opposite for the left side.
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  #6  
Old 25 June 2007, 03:59 PM
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My dad taught me to do this correctly a while back. He's obsessed with the idea of being able to position his mirrors with no blind spot. He'll watch cars come up behind him on the interstate and see if it works properly. He's funny like that.
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  #7  
Old 25 June 2007, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
You heard about this on Click and Clack this weekend, right????
Yup. I love 'em.
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  #8  
Old 25 June 2007, 04:02 PM
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That's the way I was taught to set my mirrors when I did driving school. I'll have to show this article to my husband because he's always thought I was doing it wrong and I couldn't articulate why my way was better.
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  #9  
Old 25 June 2007, 04:05 PM
Neffti
 
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Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
Think about it. WHY do you need to see the back corner of your car in your side mirror? IT won't ever hit you. The car in the left lane will though, if you don't see it.
Because then I can better judge how far the back of my car is from other objects when reversing. I'm tempted to add "think about it" myself...
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  #10  
Old 25 June 2007, 04:05 PM
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I've always been doing it that way. I wasn't taught to, it just made sense to me.
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  #11  
Old 25 June 2007, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
I've always been doing it that way. I wasn't taught to, it just made sense to me.
Yeah, I hadn't thought to need to keep an eye on the car I'm in. When I'm backing up, I'm looking out the back window, so I can see both corners of the car that way. I never look in the mirror to back up.

Someone on another site I frequent tried to get people to go on a one week mirror ban with her, so that people (mostly women) would care less about what they look like and focus more on who they are. Someone said they couldn't make it that long because she sees herself in her rearveiw mirror while driving. I was wondering why on earth it was positioned so that she could see herself. Mine is positioned so I can see out the back window. I can't see myself unless I lean towards the center of the car.
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  #12  
Old 25 June 2007, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
I've always been doing it that way. I wasn't taught to, it just made sense to me.
Ditto that. It never occurred to me to set them any other way.
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  #13  
Old 25 June 2007, 05:33 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

I don't set my mirrors to catch the back corner of the truck because I think the truck will hit me--I set the mirrors to catch the back corner because I don't otherwise have a feel for where the other vehicles are relative to my truck.

I catch the smallest sliver of truck I can and I don't intend to change them. Although, they're such sucky mirrors and so easily jostled, that I probably will need to reset them at some point.

Seaboe
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  #14  
Old 25 June 2007, 07:47 PM
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I've always done it that way too. I didn't realize I had being doing it "wrong". My side mirrors are set to see just a sliver of the sides of my car, but mostly the lanes on either side of me.
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  #15  
Old 25 June 2007, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thera View Post
I've always done it that way too. I didn't realize I had being doing it "wrong". My side mirrors are set to see just a sliver of the sides of my car, but mostly the lanes on either side of me.
Ditto this one as well as a couple of others. As a fer instance, I don't use mirrors to back up, I look out the back window. Unless there is no back window (like trucks with sleepers, some mini- or full size-vans, cars with heavily tinted rear windows, etc) then you have to use mirrors to back, and it is especially helpful to see a sliver of the vehicle so you can see more or less where you're going.
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  #16  
Old 25 June 2007, 11:22 PM
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Click-and-clacks method is basically this (This is for left-hand drive cars );

Lean your head over until it touches your left window. From this position, adjust the side mirror so you can just see the back corner of your car. When you sit back in a normal driving position you can no longer see your own car in the side mirror.

The reason for doing it this way is that it will usually completely eliminate the "blind spot". What small blind spot might be left will be well behind your car. If you set the mirror so you can see the back corner of your car from your normal driving position then you will typically have a ten foot or more long blind spot beside your car.

The most important use for a side mirror is not to help you back up (you really should turn your head and body and look for that), it is to keep you from changing lanes into someone. So, you need to be able to see beside your car, not behind it.
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  #17  
Old 26 June 2007, 02:22 AM
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When this was in a Click & Clack column (last year, maybe?) I tried it and was amazed (doesn't take much) at how well a continuous line of vision was established - you can actually watch the car move from your rearview to your sideview to your side window with no blind spot at all. At first it was a little disconerting not to see the back corner in the side mirrors (yep, I'd been taught the wrong way), but once I got used to it I couldn't imagine going back.
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  #18  
Old 26 June 2007, 06:29 AM
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Side mirrors are not really meant to change lanes, though. Shoulder checking is the way to go for changing lanes. Motorcyclists can tell hundreds of horror stories of drivers looking in the mirror, then cruising into the lane the motorcycle is in. A shoulder check would have made it much more likely the motorcycle would be seen. I've been right beside a driver's door on the freeway, watched him look in the mirror, then hammer the brake because he just came on over. Even had he had the mirror adjusted so he didn't see the back of his car, he wouldn't have seen me.
FYI, on a semi truck, it's next to impossible to adjust mirrors without seeing part of the vehicle, ie the trailer. And you do need to see the trailer to check things like wheels falling off, (it happens) cars running under trailers while moving (that's happened to me too), watching the spray from the wheels to know if the water on the road is freezing or not, etc.
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  #19  
Old 26 June 2007, 09:26 AM
Neffti
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD65 View Post
Side mirrors are not really meant to change lanes, though. Shoulder checking is the way to go for changing lanes. Motorcyclists can tell hundreds of horror stories of drivers looking in the mirror, then cruising into the lane the motorcycle is in. A shoulder check would have made it much more likely the motorcycle would be seen. I've been right beside a driver's door on the freeway, watched him look in the mirror, then hammer the brake because he just came on over. Even had he had the mirror adjusted so he didn't see the back of his car, he wouldn't have seen me.
Yep. The police call blind-spot checks "lifesavers" over here. Whatever your mirror-setting preference is, you should still do it for the reasons JD65 has stated above.

My worry with setting mirrors to eliminate almost all of your blind spots is that there is a tendancy to become complacent and feel that you can still see everything that's going on around you without moving your head.
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  #20  
Old 26 June 2007, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neffti View Post
Yep. The police call blind-spot checks "lifesavers" over here. Whatever your mirror-setting preference is, you should still do it for the reasons JD65 has stated above.

My worry with setting mirrors to eliminate almost all of your blind spots is that there is a tendancy to become complacent and feel that you can still see everything that's going on around you without moving your head.
So, blind spots are better??
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