The Importance of the Rearview Mirror

Your car’s rear-view mirror serves a multitude of purposes that help keep you safe as a driver. The rear-view mirror promotes an alert driving experience by allowing you to see behind your vehicle without turning your head. By checking the rear-view mirror, you can monitor traffic and prepare for any potential dangers. It’s also helpful with parking as it gives a clear line of sight to the sides and rear of the vehicle. The rear-view mirror is a great asset when backing into a parking space, parallel parking, and exiting a parking space.

All mirrors serve an essential function, and while it may seem like common sense, it’s best to educate yourself on how to use the mirrors before driving effectively. Before you begin a trip, check all of your mirrors, and adjust them accordingly. Most people attempt to adjust their rear-view mirror or their side mirrors while driving; this can prove to be distracting and dangerous. Take time to understand your specific vehicle’s best mirror positioning in reference to how you’re sitting. Once your mirrors are adjusted, it’s essential to make sure they’re clean. Dirty mirrors can limit visibility and response time. Don’t hesitate to run your car through a quick drive-thru car wash before starting your commute.

The rear-view mirror’s role is to ensure your safety on the road and the safety of other drivers as well. While driving, it’s important to quickly check all mirrors before making any sudden stops, switching lanes, turning, or accelerating. Most driving instructors suggest checking your mirrors every five to eight seconds with a glance. A glance does not mean studying the mirrors, but more along the lines of a quick check. It’s important not to stare off into your rear-view mirror as you can miss hazards in front of you. Checking your mirrors frequently gives you an adequate mental map of what’s happening on the road. From moments if there’s a vehicle about to hit you from the rear or an item falling off of a truck, mirror checking keeps you prepared.

The first step when driving is always to learn the laws of the road and prepare your vehicle in advance. When used with authority, a well-adjusted rear-view mirror makes for a safer driving experience. While your safe driving isn’t always enough to prevent an accident, staying prepared and aware can potentially minimize the damage or injuries. Your rear-view mirror is a tool, and its helpfulness has been proven effective for decades. All mirrors should be clean and checked frequently. If you’re ever in doubt with their placement or functionality, consult a professional automotive technician for advice.

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