Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

DEFENSIVE > VIEW > BLIND SPOT

Blind Spot

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A blind spot is that area surrounding a vehicle where there is no or limited visibility.

Causes of blind spots:

  • Incorrectly aligned mirrors.

  • Vehicle structural pillars.

  • Elevated position of cab.

  • Eye blind spot.

🛈 Info:

💡 Tips:

? Questions:

Defensive View Blind Spot Car

🛈 Where blind spot is located

A blind spot in a vehicle refers to an area around the vehicle that is not visible to the driver, even when using the mirrors. The specific location and size of the blind spot can vary depending on the vehicle's design. However, the most common blind spots are typically found on the sides and rear of the vehicle.

The blind spot on the side of a vehicle is typically located just behind the side mirror and extends back towards the rear of the vehicle. This blind spot can vary in size, but it commonly covers an area to the side and slightly behind the driver or passenger.

The blind spot at the rear of the vehicle is usually larger and encompasses an area directly behind the vehicle, making it difficult for the driver to see vehicles or objects in that zone.

It's important for drivers to be aware of their vehicle's blind spots and take necessary precautions to minimize the risk of collisions. Regularly checking the side and rearview mirrors, shoulder checking, and using proper turning signals can help mitigate the blind spot issue. Additionally, some newer vehicles are equipped with blind-spot monitoring systems that use sensors or cameras to alert the driver of vehicles in their blind spots.

Defensive - Blind Spot - Person

🛈 How to check blind spots while driving

Checking your blind spot is an essential part of safe driving, as it allows you to be aware of vehicles or other objects that may not be visible in your side or rearview mirrors. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to effectively check your blind spot while driving:

  • Adjust your mirrors: Before you start driving, make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted to give you the widest possible field of view. The side mirrors should be angled to minimize blind spots and provide a view of the adjacent lanes.

  • Use your rearview mirror: Check your rearview mirror frequently to monitor the traffic behind you. This gives you an overall perspective of what's happening on the road.

  • Prepare to change lanes: When you intend to change lanes or merge into another lane, use your turn signal to indicate your intention to other drivers. Signal well in advance to give them ample notice.

  • Perform a shoulder check: As you prepare to change lanes, take a quick glance over your shoulder to check your blind spot. Turn your head and look directly into the area beside and slightly behind your vehicle. This action is often referred to as a "shoulder check" or "head check." Ensure you don't rely solely on your mirrors, as they may have blind spots or limited coverage.

  • Be aware of blind spot zones: The blind spots of most vehicles are typically located to the sides and rear of the vehicle, especially over the driver's right shoulder. Take note of these blind spot zones and pay extra attention when checking those areas.

  • Maintain vehicle control: While performing a shoulder check, it's crucial to maintain control of the vehicle. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and avoid making sudden maneuvers during the check.

  • Complete the lane change: Once you have verified that the lane is clear by checking your blind spot, smoothly and gradually change lanes, taking care to use your turn signal throughout the maneuver.

Remember, checking your blind spot should be a regular practice, especially when changing lanes, merging, or making turns. Utilizing your mirrors in combination with a shoulder check allows you to gather comprehensive information about the surrounding traffic and make informed decisions while driving.

💡 Tips to mitigate blind spots

  • Ensure mirrors are properly aligned.

  • If side mirrors are older and limited view, install a special convex mirror onto the inside bottom corner of your side mirrors.

  • Be aware of any blind spots in your vehicle and compensate accordingly.

  • Know that likewise, other vehicles also have blind spots so never assume that other drivers have seen you. Rather start from the premise that you haven't been seen.

  • Be aware of vehicles where the driver is positioned higher off the ground as anything lower than their eye level will be less visible.

  • Before changing lanes, don't rely solely on the mirrors, but if safe to do so, also visually check to the sides or rear.

  • Develop an awareness of what is happening around you.

  • Remember that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are less visible.

  • Put into practice other Advanced Driving principles found in this course.

  • Aside from the above information, our physical eyes each have a blind spot. See WebMD for more info.

? Should you turn your head to check blind spot?

Yes, turning your head to check the blind spot is a crucial practice for safe driving. The blind spot refers to the area around your vehicle that is not visible in the rearview or side mirrors. Turning your head to check the blind spot helps ensure that there are no other vehicles or obstacles in that unseen area before making a lane change or merging.

Here's how you can properly check your blind spot:

  • Use Mirrors First: Start by checking your rearview mirror to assess the traffic behind you. Check your side mirrors to get a broader view of the lanes on either side of your vehicle.

  • Signal Your Intent: Activate your turn signal in the direction you intend to move, whether it's changing lanes or merging.

  • Physically Turn Your Head: Turn your head to look over your shoulder in the direction of the intended lane change. Ensure that your view extends into the blind spot area, which is usually the space between your peripheral vision and the rearview mirror.

  • Check Blind Spot Before Changing Lanes: Only proceed with the lane change or merge if you have visually confirmed that the blind spot is clear. If it's safe, smoothly merge or change lanes while maintaining your speed and trajectory.

Checking the blind spot is a fundamental aspect of defensive driving, helping to prevent collisions with vehicles that may be in your blind spot. Relying solely on mirrors may not provide a complete picture of your surroundings, and physically turning your head allows for a more comprehensive assessment of the road. Always be diligent in checking blind spots, especially when changing lanes, merging, or making maneuvers that involve lateral movement on the road.

? What accessory to use to minimize blind spots?

To minimize blind spots and enhance driver visibility, there are several accessories you can consider:

  • Blind Spot Mirrors: These small convex mirrors attach to your side mirrors and provide a wider viewing angle, reducing blind spots. They help you see vehicles or objects that may be in your blind spot.

  • Blind Spot Detection Systems: Some vehicles are equipped with built-in blind spot detection systems that use sensors to monitor the areas around the vehicle. These systems provide visual or audible alerts when a vehicle is detected in the blind spot.

  • Wide-Angle Rearview Mirror: A wide-angle rearview mirror expands your field of view, allowing you to see a broader area behind your vehicle. These mirrors typically have a convex shape that provides a wider angle of reflection.

  • Rearview Cameras: Rearview cameras, also known as backup cameras, provide a view of the area directly behind the vehicle. They can help you see obstacles or pedestrians that may be in your blind spot while reversing.

  • Parking Assist Systems: Some vehicles have parking assist systems that use sensors to detect objects around the vehicle. These systems provide visual or audible alerts to assist with parking and avoiding obstacles.

  • Properly Adjusted Side Mirrors: Adjusting your side mirrors correctly can help minimize blind spots. The goal is to position the mirrors to provide a view of the adjacent lanes, rather than duplicating the view from your rearview mirror. This adjustment expands your field of vision and reduces blind spots.

Remember, even with these accessories, it's important to perform regular visual checks and shoulder checks to ensure your safety while changing lanes or maneuvering your vehicle. Additionally, practicing defensive driving techniques and maintaining proper situational awareness are essential for overall road safety.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving