Make Necessary Adjustments

Mirrors

Properly adjusted mirrors give the driver the fullest possible view with the least amount of additional effort. In a quick glance, you should be able to know about vehicles beside and behind yours.

Here’s how to set your mirrors:

  1. With your seat properly adjusted and sitting in the normal driving position, adjust the rear-view mirror so that it gives you a view straight out the rear window. Don’t tilt it to one side or the other to help you see traffic to either side of your vehicle. That’s what the side mirrors do.
  2. Adjust the driver side mirror outwards so it’s just past the point at which you can see the left rear corner of your vehicle. You should not be able to see the side of your vehicle until you tilt your head so it is almost touching the driver’s side window.
  3. Adjust the passenger side mirror outwards so it’s just past the point at which you can see the right side of your vehicle. If you tilt your head towards the center of the vehicle you should be able to just see the right side of your vehicle.

At first, this wider angle view from your side mirrors may seem strange but widening your view really does help minimize blind spots. See for yourself - have someone stand in the blind spots while you adjust your mirrors to this new configuration. You can also try a gradual approach, adjusting the mirrors outward a little more each day. Either way, once you get used to this, you’ll be able to see more and be more comfortable and confident in traffic.

Click the thumbnail below to show a full-sized image:

Watch this video on how to properly set your side mirrors.

Setting the side mirrors this way will prevent the lights of vehicles behind you from shining in your eyes. To further reduce glare, flip up the lever on the bottom of the rear-view mirror.
Other drivers who have not correctly adjusted their mirrors will have larger blind spots. Move up or drop back to avoid being in those blind spots.

Seatbelts

Wearing a properly adjusted seatbelt is the best protection against injury in a crash. Use the approach below.

  • Ensure the lap belt is snug and as low on your hips as possible.
  • Ensure the shoulder belt comes across your shoulder without cutting across your neck. Most vehicles allow you to adjust the height of the shoulder belt pivot point, making it easier to achieve proper belt placement and comfort.
  • Try to snug the shoulder belt across your chest. If the belt has any slack, in a crash your body will gain momentum before hitting the belt, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Never wear the shoulder belt under your arm because doing so greatly increases risk of injury if a crash occurs.
  • If you find the shoulder strap uncomfortable, specially-designed shoulder strap covers or cushions can greatly improve comfort.
  • When sitting passively, a correctly adjusted belt does allow a bit of movement. On impact the belt sensors lock it in place.
Even when automatically locked during a crash, seatbelt fabric can sometimes stretch. An improperly adjusted seat belt that allows even an extra centimetre of slack can make the difference between being seriously injured, or not.

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Before You Go

Set Your Driving Position

Make Necessary Adjustments

While You're Driving

Resources



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