Chapter 4 – Car’s mirrors
Many drivers neglect to adjust their rearview mirrors
Some irresponsible or unthinking people even drive with the rear-view mirrors folded back or badly adjusted. Internal mirrors are very often displaced from their proper axis in relation to the outside mirrors. The driver runs the same kind of severe risk as in the case of eyeglasses hampering lateral visibility or that of transporting objects that constitute potential blind spots.
It is therefore imperative to ensure that rear-view mirrors are properly adjusted at all times, in perfect condition and kept constantly clean. And, of course, they must be used systematically before and during any changes of direction.
If a driver changes lanes without checking their rear-view mirrors, they run the risk illustrated by the red vehicle of losing all control of their trajectory in an over steer phenomenon in the event of even a minor collision with another vehicle.
It is clear that the driver of the red vehicle has not used their rear-view mirrors to check his safety distances to the side and behind.
This type of accident is all the more serious in that the impact normally occurs at the level of the overhang.
It should be understood that the overhangs are the points in the car where a collision creates the greatest destabilization.
Some drivers already having a marked tendency to over steer will be even more affected.
Systematic use of indicators in the case of the slightest change of direction is obviously an integral part of any change of direction and should be applied as long as possible beforehand.
The rules for ideal adjustment of rear-view mirrors are as follows:
Once the driver’s seat has been adjusted as described in the beginning of Chapter 1, the two types of rear-view mirror, external and internal, must be in the open position.
Both the right-hand and left-hand mirrors should make it possible to see the sides of the vehicle to the rear.
The rear part of the vehicle will be visible in the lower left-hand corner of the right-hand mirror and the lower right-hand corner of the left-hand mirror.
One should be able to see all one’s own vehicle beyond the handle of the front door (this applies to both two-door and four-door vehicles).
One should never drive without being able to see the rear sides of the vehicle in the side mirrors.
The principal reason relates to the simple rule that it will enable you, just like being in an excellent position in the driver’s seat, to be psychologically at one with your vehicle. The fact of having one’s rear-view mirrors adjusted with optimum precision will involve you in your equipment and oblige you to meld into it psychologically.
This psychological principle will come into play every time you look in your correctly-adjusted rear-view mirrors and will remain imprinted on your subconscious in all your journeys down the road. This new sense of space concerning yourself and your vehicle will oblige you in the event of risk of serious accident, as we have seen, to increase your general observation of other road users to allow for their errors.
Always remember the central principle of this road safety manual:
You must become your vehicle and let your vehicle become yourself.
You are the spiritual wheel to master the physical wheel.
You are not in opposition to or in physical or psychological discord with your vehicle, but you are seeking to be at one with it in order to be fully at ease and relaxed in order to have control of different situations. The way you attain this goal is through your determination and through the information that you have found and will continue to find in this road safety manual.
To complete this section on the adjustment of rear-view mirrors, it goes without saying that the positioning as to height must provide you with information as far back as possible regarding what is happening behind you. This means that the adjustment should not be too far down towards the road but still show you enough of the road to see what is going on in your immediate vicinity.