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How to check for blind spots

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Updated 11 Oct 2019Rachel White
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A blind spot is an area around a vehicle that the driver cannot directly see in their normal field of vision whilst driving.

Blind spots occur in various types of vehicles including trucks and cars. Motorcycles do not have blind spots as they have full visibility around the bike.

There are numerous areas in a vehicle that can create a blind spot for the driver. Some blind spots can be from the windscreen pillar, rear view mirror, passengers, headrests, side mirrors or cargo being transported.

There are many accidents that occur because someone just didn’t see the other person and it’s likely they were in the blind spot.

It is important to identify where blind spots are in your car and to make an effort to check your blind spots by moving your head to enable a visual of those areas.

You should also identify potential blind spots on other vehicles and make sure you don’t sit too long in a blind spot to ensure you are being seen.

Take the time to set your driving position and mirrors correctly to assist in eliminating any unnecessary blind spots.

Once you have your mirrors set up you may want to get someone to walk around your car so you can identify what areas are obstructed from your view and manoeuvre yourself until you can see.

This way you will know where the blind spots are and what you will need to do to be able to view that area if needed.

When purchasing a new car it’s a good idea to just sit in the driver’s seat and consider the visibility.

We all come in different shapes and forms so what might work well for one person may not work for another.

Convertibles are well known for having poor visibility due to the construction of the vehicle.

But with the top down rear visibility behind the driver increases. When you sit in a potential new purchase and don’t feel confident in being able to see around the vehicle then you are probably best to keep looking.

If you can’t see properly there will be a higher chance of accidents and your comfort level in that vehicle may be diminished.

Here are some things to consider with blind spots: 

  • Size of the rear window
  • How high do you sit in the seat and where is your eye level
  • Can you see over your shoulders on both sides?
  • How wide are the pillars?
  • How much can you see in the side mirrors?

Keep in mind that bigger vehicles have larger blind spots so when negotiating around heavy vehicles or larger cars be mindful of the blind spots so you do not put yourself in danger.

Also, as a pedestrian be aware that you may be standing in a blind spot and the driver can’t see you.

Outside factors may also influence your visibility, for example you might not be able to see ahead of you because the sun is shining straight into your view.

If you are unable to view the road ahead of you then slow down to ensure you can stop in time if required.

Be aware, be prepared and know what to watch out for so you don’t end up being that person who says “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you.”

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Image credit: car mirror Sam

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Written ByRachel White

Rachel spent her early adult life around cars, motorsport and hands-on with her own cars.

This interest moved into various careers within the Automotive industry. Joined with her passion for writing, Rachel loves putting the two together to share her experience, so we can all become AutoGuru’s.