Up here at the Old Place we appreciate the way things were. Oh we have our concessions to modernity: land-line telephones, nice stereos, weather radios, and hey a couple of us even have those new-fangled non-polluting electric outboard motors. Generally speaking though we like things the way they were. Not that we are living in the past mind you, but we do indulge ourselves in a little looking back. In fact, it is not only important to look back, but knowing just how to look back can sometimes make the difference between life and death.
Most of our mornings start off pretty much the same: after a good breakfast and a cup of that great River Roads coffee, we climb into our vehicle, back out the carport and head off to work. If however your teenaged driver took the car out over the weekend, chances are the mirrors are no longer adjusted to your liking. Now wait a second, just how should mirrors be set? Hmm. Most drivers have them set so that they can see the sides of the car but is this the best angle for safety? Maybe for backing up but not for driving forward. Have you ever attempted to “slowly and safely” change lanes only to be rewarded with the shrill blast of a horn from another driver riding blissfully in your blind spot or worse by an expensive crunching sound? So what is best for safety? First off remember, the inside rearview mirror is used to keep an eye on what is coming up from behind, while the outside mirrors reflect the area outside the view of the inside rearview mirror.
Now, adjust the mirrors outward until the viewing angle of the side mirrors just overlaps that of the inside rearview mirror. When correctly positioned, the mirrors can eliminate your vehicle’s blind spots. As a bonus, you will no longer need to look over your shoulder in order to change lanes safely.
As a final note, many new cars come equipped with something called, Blind Side Information Systems (BLISS). This is a radar based system that “watches” out the side and warns the driver when another vehicle has come up on the side. The challenge is, not all cars have this system and then what happens when it fails? Learning how to set up your rearview mirrors will one day prevent a crash and could just keep you alive.
Sitting in a rocker at the Old Place I am, Col. Jim.