Skip Barber advocates the same thing — and I am constantly arguing with Mrs. Big Picture about this:



Source: Car & Driver

Category: Technology, Weekend

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

14 Responses to “How to Adjust Your Car’s SideView Mirrors”

  1. JerryN says:

    I would think that, unlike in a performance environment where the seat design and a 5 point harness keeps you strapped in to a fixed position, a small amount of overlap in the mirror views helps make sure that you don’t open up a blind spot if you shift a little in your seat.

  2. jnkowens says:

    I’ve had mine adjusted this way for a while, and it works great but takes some getting used to (which is why the Mrs. probably doesn’t like it). As the article i read put it: why would you want to see the same thing in two different mirrors? As something leaves the rearview mirror, it should transition to a side view mirror, thus providing the maximum field of vision.

  3. Moopheus says:

    The reason the traditional method works is that when you make a turn, you shouldn’t rely on only the mirrors. You have to turn your head and look. Mirrors are helpful, but aren’t a complete substitute for the look-back. That’s why the mirror looks into the blind-spot. Also, when you are parallel parking, being able to see where the edge of your car is is helpful.

  4. bytehead says:

    Mrs. Bytehead does the same thing. Making sure each side mirror has her car showing in at least a third of them. I swore our next car would have memory so I wouldn’t have to keep readjusting after she drove, but that wasn’t to be, since I had to run out and buy another car after she totaled our car. She ran a red light, not having to do with any mirrors…

    And then, there was the time when I drove a buddies car, and found out that all three mirrors were giving me the same view! I don’t know how he managed to do that.

  5. Greg0658 says:

    I know the less is more mirrors don’t have alot of space for these .. after market fisheye mirrors are nice too – especially on driver side

  6. peterkrause says:

    As with all guys, I have multiple opinions on proper driving all predicated on the fact that what I know is correct.
    I do agree with moopheus that the lookback is indispensable. Regardless of mirror position (I go with traditional but will try the new one) I implore everyone to use your turn signal — and defensively, don’t trust other drivers’ turn indicators until you see them commit to the turn.

  7. wally says:

    There is absolutely no good reason for manufacturers to not have long ago installed two-facet mirrors on all cars. When the inside facet is adjust the ‘traditional’ way, the outer facet will automatically show the blind spot. This is a dirt-simple fix for this problem.

  8. Joe says:

    Again, I’m here with the two wheeler perspective; all I have are blind spots. And a good view of my elbows… (sportbike). The answer is to 1) Scan for the deltas; what’s there and relatively fixed (similar speed) and what is changing, whether quickly or gradually. Know what is behind you and that when it approaches, it will disappear. In a car, that metamorphieses into; Right side mirror aligned along the side of the car to show the side of the car if I move my head a skosh; I’ve got clearance for parking/columns/doorways/walls and a long straight shot back. Inside mirror; right of center to catch the wide view given up by my outside mirror straight back alignment. Left mirror; Aligned for a view alongside the car and far back. It is a much closer mirror so I get a wider view. My blind spot is now on my side and almost even with me; checkable with a turn of the head and no headrest/pillar/passenger obstruction. And my head turns easier without the helmet/furcollar/riding suit/sportbike head down position. YMMV. Not recommended for the arthritic. I like the track protocol the best; if it’s behind me, it doesn’t matter unless it tries to pass.

  9. it’s a “Geometry”-thing..

    go cr**y, though, see some of..

    “…Boys generally demonstrate superiority over female peers in areas of the brain involved in math and geometry…”

  10. kaapseklopse says:

    So investing is about/not about looking in the rear view mirror……………side view……………blind spots……………..

  11. Bjørn says:

    Position 4 is taught at the AARP defensive driving courses. The reason (besides being the best way) is because older citizens can not turn their heads to the degree required due to arthritis and such.

  12. rex remes says:

    @Moopheus — “The reason the traditional method works is that when you make a turn, you shouldn’t rely on only the mirrors. You have to turn your head and look. ”

    No matter how you set your mirrors, you should always look. I don’t think anyone is suggesting to rely 100% on mirrors. I guess every driver can choose whichever method works for them (and leads to safe driving). However, if someone is going to use the traditional method, then that driver almost does not need sideview mirrors.

    They are called SIDEview mirrors for a reason. And adjusting them so that in conjunction with the rearview mirrow, the driver gets an overlapping view of most of the road next to and behind his car, would seem to be the best way to go. Seeing more is better than seeing less.

  13. anasazi says:

    This debate has gone on for a long time and stimulated an engineer at the GM Proving Ground to develop a technique for adjusting side mirrors that was later adopted as the Society of Automotive Engineers recommendation. The best/easiest technique is as follows: 1) adjust the inside REAR VIEW MIRROR to allow vision of everything that can be seen through the rear window; 2) from the normal driving position, move your head close to the left door window and adjust the left mirror so that you can JUST see the left side of your car at the right edge of that mirror; 3) now move your head close to the center of the vehicle and adjust the right mirror so you can JUST see the right side of your car at the left edge of that mirror,

    Now experiment as you drive on roads with 2+ lanes each direction. Drive in the right lane and let cars pass you. With normal peripheral vision, you should see a passing car’s image leave your interior mirror about the time it appears in your left side mirror. As the car passes you, it should appear in your left peripheral vision about the time it disappears from your left mirror. Now repeat this procedure except drive in the left lane and slowly pass a car in the right lane. Again, when the image of the car you’re passing leaves the inside mirror it should appear in the right side mirror and should appear in your peripheral vision as it leaves the right side mirror.

    The other advantage of this setting is when backing up – scanning across all the mirrors gives you an excellent view of everything behind and to the side of your vehicle.