Where are your blind spots?
That depends on the vehicle. A Car/Sedan typically has blind areas at the sides near the rear of the vehicle. That means that you cannot see anything in these areas by looking in your correctly adjusted mirrors. Other vehicles may be blind to anything that is directly behind.
Vehicles in which the driver sits very high may have forward-quarter blind spots—they may not be able to see anything low to the ground in front or to the sides near the front. It is important to check your mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds or so while driving.
At the same time, it’s not enough just to check the mirrors. If you’ve been driving long, you already know the blind areas on most vehicles are large enough to hide other vehicles.
Tractor-trailer rigs have their own particular blind spots. These trucks are “articulated”— they “bend” in the middle. If you can picture a turning semi from above, as it jack-knifes around a corner, you’ll see that the side mirrors are the only rearward vision the driver has. As the tractor heads into the turn, the side mirror on the side to which the truck is turning has a view only of the side of the truck’s trailer. His other mirror (away from the turn direction) is pointing off to the side, into space.
In this situation, the driver cannot see anything happening directly behind him unless he sticks his head out and looks. Also, it is possible to “hide” completely behind the trailer of a large truck. It is not a brilliant idea to drive so close to the rear of a vehicle you can’t see around or over when the driver may not even know you are there. When driving near large trucks, always try to make sure you are visible to the driver.
If you can see his face in his side-view mirrors, he can see you, too. It should make you uncomfortable if you are driving in other drivers’ blind spots! Virtually all vehicles have blind areas—even motorcycles. (Motorcyclists are sometimes limited in how far they can twist their head to look behind them.) Yet, some drivers habitually change lanes without checking their blind areas for other vehicles. It’s a good idea to adjust your position relative to other traffic to stay out of other drivers’ blind spots whenever you can.
When performing a reversing maneuver, there are also blind spots to consider and these must be recognized in order to prevent a collision and where necessary, especially in the operation of heavy equipment, operators must ask for someone to provide signals.
Know how to use mirrors is also important when reversing. Finally, remember that even parked vehicles have blind areas. Kids often play around cars. Before you start up and back out of your driveway, take a quick turn around the vehicle to make sure nothing, living or inanimate, is under or behind your wheels.