Avoid Blind Spots When Driving
Keep Yourself and Those Around You Safe
You're cruising along, hands at ten and two, safely observing the rules of the road. Suddenly, just as you're about to switch lanes, a car appears from out of nowhere. Your blood pressure goes up - and if you're not lucky, so do your insurance premiums.
When it comes to driving, there are few things scarier than blind spots. Luckily, there are things you can do to help identify and eliminate blind spots, making your driving experience safe and stress free.
Most blind spots are simply caused by the construction of your car. That's because your car's roof is held up by posts that can block your line of sight. The most obvious of these are what's called your A-pillars, which are the posts at the right and left corners of your windshield.
These days, most A-pillars are designed to be less obtrusive. So if you are driving a newer model car, this blind spot will likely be fairly small. Though in some models that feature a flat windshield, these blind spots can still be a hazard.
Of more concern to most drivers, though, are potential blind spots created by the B-pillars on your side door. Depending on the design of your car, these side posts - along with the C-pillars at the corners of your rear windshield - may partially or even completely obscure your peripheral vision, preventing you from seeing cars approaching you from behind.
So what can you do to lessen the danger of blind spots?
Knowing your car is the first step. Different cars have different blind spots. A station wagon, for instance, may have an additional pillar on the sides, while SUVs often have much wider pillars than sedans.
Once you are familiar with where the potential trouble spots on your car are, you can adjust your vehicle accordingly. Luckily, most new vehicles are equipped with safety devices designed to help minimize the impact of blind spots.
The most important and obvious of these are your mirrors. A well-adjusted side mirror in particular can mean the difference between safe driving and being blindsided. Finding the right setting for your mirror will go a long way in bringing you peace of mind.
Additionally, some models also sport new technologies to assist drivers. Called blind spot monitors, these electronic systems use sensors located on the sides and rear of the vehicle to warn drivers of approaching traffic that may be obscured by a blind spot.
These features are often optional, so if you are buying a new vehicle, you may want to inquire if they are available for your model.
Finally, there's one other type of blind spot to be aware of: Windshield glare. Keeping your windshield clean is a good first step, but you can also minimize reflections by choosing a dark, non-reflective interior color for your vehicle, particularly for your dashboard.
Follow these guidelines and you can help minimize blind spots - and maximize safety.