Older Americans today are healthier and more active than ever before. The aging baby boomer generation is the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. By 2030, there will be more than 70 million people age 65 and older, and approximately 85-90 percent of them will be licensed to drive. In fact, seniors are outliving their ability to drive safely by an average of 7-10 years and for the first time in history, we must plan for our “driving retirement” just as we plan for our financial retirement.
Senior drivers are among the safest drivers on the road and often reduce their risk of injury by wearing safety belts, not drinking and driving and by observing speed limits; however, seniors are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash due to age-related fragility. With the exception of teenagers, seniors have the highest crash death rate per mile driven. As we age, our ability to drive safely is affected by natural changes to our bodies over time.
AAA is dedicated to keeping seniors driving for as long as safely possible. We also are committed to promoting viable transportation options for seniors who can no longer drive independently.
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Evaluations are best if you are concerned that your driving skills may have diminished; were recommended to take a driving skills evaluation by a physician, occupational therapist or family member; or may benefit from supplemental in-car training.
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For the safety of motorists, it is important that automakers play a greater role in educating new car buyers about the ADAS technologies in vehicles.
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AAA’s Senior Transportation Mobility Planner is designed to help you start planning today, for a fun, mobile and enriching life tomorrow.
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By 2030, there will be more than 70 million people age 65 and older, with between 85–90 percent of them licensed to drive.
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The following tools and resources are intended to help older drivers and provide valuable guidance to families and friends.
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There is a reason driver’s education teachers hound you about checking your mirrors.
Your side and rear-view mirrors are among the most important safety features on your vehicle. Without them, you would only be able to view a fraction of the roadway at a time and your odds of a collision would skyrocket. While glancing from side to side and upwards every few seconds may be a bit awkward at first, developing the habit of correctly using your mirrors is a top priority.
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Before you hit the road, you must adjust your side and rearview mirrors so that you have clear visibility in each of them. Here’s how:
How to Adjust Your Mirrors Properly
Sit in the driver’s seat. Position the seat and steering wheel so that you are comfortable and have access to the gear shifter, brake pedal, and accelerator.
Gently maneuver the rear view mirror so that you can see directly out of the middle of your back windshield without moving your head. The goal is to be able to quickly glance from the road in front of you to the road behind you without having to move or turn your body.
Locate the levers or buttons that adjust the side mirrors. Many newer models have a small lever or joy-stick on the driver’s side door that electronically adjusts the side mirrors. Older models often require you to manually adjust them using a lever or by pressing on the mirror itself.
Adjust the driver’s side mirror first. Make adjustments then sit back in the driver’s seat to ensure that you can see the road behind you and a small sliver of the side of your car.
Next, adjust the passenger side mirror. If you have to adjust it manually, you may need to move between the passenger’s and driver’s seats until it is properly adjusted.
After all mirrors have been adjusted, sit in the driver’s seat and look in each, starting with the driver’s side mirror. You should view everything behind you in segments as you glance along.
To summarize, here is a video guide for mirror adjustment.
Now that your mirrors are adjusted, here are some driving scenarios that require you to use your mirrors:
How to Use Your Mirrors Properly
Merging on the Interstate
When changing lanes, first check your rearview mirror to see if any cars are following you. As you begin to signal your intention to turn, check the side mirror on the side you plan to merge to. For example, if you plan to merge from the left lane to the right lane, check your right side mirror for traffic approaching in that lane. Continue to glance between your rearview and side mirrors as you complete the merge. The video below contains a smart tip for choosing appropriate timing while changing lanes.
Safety experts recommend that you keep a constant scan of all your vehicle’s mirrors while driving. Take a quick glance at one mirror every five seconds starting with the driver’s side mirror.
All three of your mirrors are essential to successfully parallel parking your vehicle. Check out How to Parallel Park for more information on how to use your mirrors to squeeze your vehicle into a tricky parking space.
The following video will also give you an idea of how to use mirrors while parking:
When Pulling a Trailer
Checking your mirrors is a must when your vehicle is pulling a trailer of any kind. When making turns, watch the mirror to the inside of the turn to ensure that the trailer’s wheels do not hit the curb.
Proper adjustment and usage of your vehicle’s side and rearview mirrors will prevent dangerous blind spots and keep your vehicle out of the path of approaching traffic.
Ladies, remember that your rearview mirror really isn’t for make-up application, especially while operating the car!
Driving is an extremely visual task and requires constant views of your surroundings. Seeing in front of you is a given as long as your windshield is clear and the weather conditions aren’t extreme. Seeing to the sides and behind you can be a little bit trickier. All cars have blind spots that you have to watch out for, but with these tips to adjust your car mirrors for maximum visibility, you’ll significantly improve your vision and safety on the road.
Adjust Rear View Mirror
The rear-view mirror should be able to show you the entire lane behind you. You should be able to see it by looking up without you having to move your head. To adjust your rear-view mirror, you should do so while sitting straight in the driver’s seat and move the mirror until you can see as much of the back windshield as possible. By doing this, you will cover the blind spots which the side mirrors leave.
At night, remember to flip the tab on the bottom of the rearview mirror for nighttime driving. This dims the headlights of the cars behind you so the light reflected from the mirror into your eyes doesn’t blind you.
A tip for tall people: if you are 6 feet tall or above, re-position the mirror entirely upside down. You should do so because it raises the mirror further up by about 2 inches. This will help you view the scene behind your car without having to move your head too much.
Adjust Side View Mirrors
You might be surprised to know that side mirrors are meant to be in a more outward direction than you might be used to. Many motorists are unaware of this and adjust their side mirrors so they can just barely see the flanks of their own ca. This only creates redundancy with the rearview mirror and allows a larger blind spot to linger.
Here’s how you should adjust your car’s side view mirrors:
- Lean your head to the left and rest it on the window. Adjust the driver’s side mirror while in this position until you can only see a sliver of the side of your car in the mirror. When you sit up straight, you’ll notice the mirror now has a much wider viewing angle.
- Lean your head to the right toward the center console and adjust the passenger’s side mirror while in this position until you can barely see your car’s right flank in the mirror.
Many newer models have a small lever or joy-stick on the driver’s side door that electronically adjusts the side mirrors. Older models often require you to manually adjust them using a lever or by pressing on the mirror itself. In the case that you need to manually move your mirrors, it’s best to get the help of a friend to adjust your passenger side mirror while you are viewing from the driver’s seat.
If you currently have a driver’s license and have been driving for a while, then you probably know how to adjust your car’s mirrors to your liking. However, your personal mirror setting preference might not be the most optimal position when it comes to achieving maximum visibility. In that case, how do you adjust your car’s mirrors properly?
How to adjust your car’s mirrors
This might seem like a “driving 101” lesson for you, but as with any routine or basic practice, it’s always good to know the basics. Here is how to use and adjust your car’s rearview and side mirrors according to AAA.com:
- Sit in the driver’s seat and adjust it to fit your height
- Adjust the rearview mirror so that you can see the entire view from the driver’s seat with just a glance, as opposed to having to turn your head upward.
- Locate the levers or buttons that adjust the side mirrors
- To adjust the driver’s side mirror, lean to the left side and rest your head against the driver’s side window, and set the mirror so that you can barely see the side of the car on the right side of the mirror.
- For the passenger’s side mirror, lean to the right and position your head above the center console. Set the mirror so that you can barely see the car on the left side of the mirror.
- If your car does not have power-adjustable mirrors, enlist the help of a friend to properly adjust them using the adjusting levers.
According to AAA, you should have a seamless view of the visual field behind you with these settings. However, it could take a little time to get used to, so it’s recommended that you double-check the positioning of the mirrors and get used to it when the vehicle is parked, and then see how they are while driving among traffic.
Ideally, you should be able to see a passing car in your rearview mirror, then watch as it gradually progresses to your left or right side mirror, and then to the left or right of your side vision. Keep in mind that even properly adjusted mirrors won’t make your field of vision blind-spot-free, however, they should help in the most common driving situations.
Always turn your head and check the blind spot areas
Since your properly adjusted mirrors aren’t exactly 100-percent fool-proof, it goes without saying that it’s a good idea to always turn your head and check the blind spot before changing lanes.
Glass Doctor also recommends setting your car’s rearview mirror to “night mode” when you’re driving at night to dim the headlights of the car’s behind you. If your rearview mirror is manually adjustable, then you can flip the lever at the bottom for night mode. But if it’s powered, then the mirror will automatically adjust for you.
Remember to adjust the mirrors when driving someone else’s car
If you happen to drive someone else’s car, then it’s a good idea to properly adjust the mirrors in that just as you would in your own. By taking a minute to adjust the mirrors to suit your personal preferences and height, you could be minimizing any accidents that could possibly occur.
Mirrors on a car are equivalent to eyes on the back of your head. Rear view mirrors give you visual information about your surroundings and help you to be on the safe side. Mirrors play a pivotal role in parking and keeping you and your car safe from harm.
Proper adjustment of mirrors is very necessary to get the full advantage of the field of vision they have to offer, and it should be the first thing to do before you start the vehicle. So, how to get the best out of your mirrors? We’ve got a few tips on adjusting your car’s hind eyes.
While adjusting mirrors it’s not just about mirrors, how you sit is equally important. Get into a comfortable position, preferably the position you would be driving in, adjust the seat accordingly. Place your hands on the wheel and assume a driving position. This is how you will be driving.
Adjusting the rear view mirror
From the position you are sitting in simply take your hand and adjust the rear view mirror in such a way that you see the whole rear window. Assume the driving position, you should get a full view of the rear window with a quick glance, your head or neck needn’t move. If you don’t, adjust a bit more. Modern cars come with highly technical IVRMs that auto dim the glaze at night giving less strain on the eyes. If you have the old mirror system then there should be a tab under the mirror, toggle it and driving at night should be a glare free driving experience.
Setting the side view or the wing mirrors
These two mirrors give you a full view of what is going on outside on the two sides of the vehicle. Here’s how to adjust them properly. To set the driver side mirror lean towards the window and adjust the mirrors so as to get a full view of the field outside, no part of the car should be seen. Assume your driving position and check the mirror, now, only a small part of the car side should be seen. You should be able to get the full view of the side with just the movement of your eyes.
To set the passenger side mirror, lean a bit towards the passenger seat and again set the mirror to get a full view of the side. Get into the driving position, you should be able to see just a small part of the side of the car. If not, make minor adjustments to get the view.
Cars nowadays come equipped with electronic side mirror adjustment features, and if you don’t have one it will take a few tries before getting the perfect view.
Getting clean and well set mirrors is the first step in safety, as a car has many blind spots which are dangerous. The mirrors try to reduce these blind spots and give a much better and safer ride.
FAQs about Car Mirrors
How do I lessen the reflection of lights on my mirrors at night?
Most modern mirrors have a button which when pressed activates night mode, through these kinds of mirrors the glare of the incoming light reduces significantly and you would be able to drive comfortably. If your car doesn’t have this kind of mirror, a tab below the mirror activates or deactivates night glare reduction but if you don’t have it, it would be a good idea to have it installed.
How to clean my car’s mirrors?
Use a glass cleaner with a lint free cloth, water, multipurpose cleaners or newspaper and napkins and won’t do the job. Make sure you spray on the cloth and not on the mirror and clean in a circular motion.
Modern safety features have made driving much safer and more comfortable. Even with the use of cameras and sensors, car mirrors have remained an essential safety feature. Unlike modern sensors, you will find side and rearview mirrors in every car you come across.
Correct adjustment of the mirrors is key to eliminating the blind spots. In fact, learning to use mirrors is equally important when learning to drive. During a road test, the driving instructor observes if their students adjusted the mirrors properly or not before starting the car. Therefore adjusting the mirrors properly is very important before you start driving.
Adjusting Mirrors for Maximum Visibility
Proper car mirror adjustment is necessary for maximum visibility
Well-adjusted mirrors also require correctly adjusted seats to make the driving experience comfortable, easier and safer. Let’s take a look at the steps to adjust car mirrors accordingly.
Adjust Driver Seat
The moment you sit in to drive the car, adjust the seat according to your height. If your feet don’t reach the throttle, brake or clutch pedal, move the seat forward from the side lever and adjust the lumbar support.
Modern cars are equipped with powered control to make adjustments electronically. Some high-end models offer memory seating to remember your seat position. This helps quickly reposition seats even if the car is driven by someone else.
Adjust Side Mirrors
Once you feel comfortable with the seat adjustments, start with the adjustment of side mirrors from the perspective of the driver seat. Depending on the car, you can either adjust the side view mirrors electronically or manually.
If the mirror is operated electronically, you will find a four-way power button and a mirror switcher button next to the steering wheel. The powered options make it easy to adjust both side mirrors while sitting on the driver seat. If the powered controls are located in uncommon positions, check the vehicle manual.
Older cars lack powered control and will require some effort to adjust side view mirrors. For manual adjustment, mirrors are adjusted either by pushing and pulling the mirror. Apart from the driver side, you will need to lean over to the passenger side to adjust the other mirror.
Adjust Rear View Mirror
A car’s rear view mirror is very important and its adjustment matters. Positioning the rearview mirror will depend on your height and posture position while driving. The mirror is adjusted in a way to show the entire rear window for maximum vision. This will allow you to see the cars in the lanes behind you.
Some rearview mirrors are equipped with anti-glare levers. This comes in handy during the night drive when lights from cars behind you can distract the driver with glare.
Using Car Mirrors
Set mirrors properly before hitting the accelerator
With correctly adjusted mirrors, all it takes is a simple glance to make a safe judgement call in changing lanes. In fact, always check mirrors when making a turn, switching lanes, pulling over, changing speed and overtaking. In high traffic situations, mirrors become essential in navigating difficult scenarios.
How to adjust car mirrors to avoid blind spots?
On average, the correct positioning of side view mirrors does not remove the blind spots completely. The recommended setting by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to remove the blind spots includes adjusting side mirrors in an outward position. This means you won’t be able to see the rear edge of your car as the mirror is focused on the road view.
However, many drivers cannot get used to such settings as they are unable to view their own car in the mirrors. Since it’s hard to follow SAE recommendations, the side mirrors are positioned to show less of your own car and more of the road view.
In what position should you be to adjust the rearview mirror?
The position of rearview mirrors depends on the driver height and seating position. To correctly adjust the rearview mirror, you must be seated on the driver seat in a regular position.
Nowadays, modern cars are equipped with radars and sensors to offer various safety features to mitigate driver’s mistakes. Features like blind-spot mirrors, lane departure warning, parking assist, backup and 360-degree cameras help the driver with navigation even if the car mirrors are not properly monitored or adjusted.
If you want to test how modern safety features and driver assistance packages help with navigation, check out some used cars for sale in the UAE.
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Your vehicle’s rear and side view mirrors are valuable tools in helping you monitor the road all around your car as you drive.
Knowing how to adjust them properly is an important skill to learn.
This will allow you to have maximum visibility of the road around you, which will give you more time to spot and react to hazards as you drive.
This page will provide you with the steps to properly adjust your mirrors for maximum visibility.
When to Adjust Your Car’s Mirrors
You should get into the habit of making adjustments to your mirror after you adjust your seat and before you start to drive.
You should avoid having to adjust your mirrors when the car is moving.
Even if you’re the only person who drives your car, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of confirming that your mirrors are in the correct position.
If you’re driving a car that you don’t normally drive, take the time to get used to the controls and adjust the mirrors before you get going.
How to Adjust the Rear View Mirror
The first mirror you’ll want to adjust is the rear view mirror.
This allows you to see out of your back window without having to move your head. It allows you to stay focused on the road ahead, while still being able to glance at traffic behind you safely.
To adjust the rearview mirror simply move it to where it needs to be. Be gentle as you move it and make small adjustments.
The goal is to be able to have a clear view of the road behind you. If you can see most of your rear window in the center of your rear view mirror, you should be good.
Your rear view mirror will probably also include a tab on the bottom. This allows you to flip the mirror to dim any glare effects from bright headlights when driving at night.
How to Adjust Side Mirrors
Next, you’ll want to adjust your side view mirrors.
In most modern vehicles, the adjustment for your side mirrors will be found to the left of your steering wheel or on the driver’s side door.
To adjust your side mirrors:
- Flip the control to L or R to adjust either the left or right mirror.
- Use the joystick or control pad to make small adjustments to the mirror’s position.
When adjusting the side view mirrors, you should sit as you would when you are driving.
A properly adjusted side view mirror should allow you to see the road behind and to the side of your vehicle along with a small portion of the side of your car.
The bottom inside corner of each side mirror will likely contain the bottom trim of your windows and just above the door handle.
This positioning should allow you to see enough of the road behind you as well as any vehicles approaching from adjacent lanes.
Aside from your blind spots on either side of you, your side view and rear view mirrors should now give you a full view of the road behind and around your car.
Once all of your mirrors have been adjusted, sit in the driver’s seat as if you were driving to double check that they are set properly.
Keep reading to learn about how to best use your mirrors as you drive.
How to Properly Use Your Car Mirrors
Your car’s mirrors are something that you should be using constantly.
Quick glances in your mirrors allow you to keep tabs on the road around you. Getting into the habit of frequently checking your mirrors will allow you to:
- Spot and react to hazards with plenty of time.
- Avoid collisions from the rear or when other drivers are changing lanes.
- Know when it is safe to change lanes or merge.
- Spot bicyclists that may be approaching from behind.
- Avoid highway hypnosis.
Here are some times when you should be checking your mirrors:
- Entering or exiting the freeway.
- Crossing a bike lane to turn. .
- Preparing to drive in reverse.
- When towing a trailer.
- When driving down the road.
Remember, even properly set mirrors will not eliminate all of your car’s blind spots.
When you are performing maneuvers like some of the ones mentioned above it is still important to physically turn your head to make sure your blind spots are clear.
Mastering car mirrors is one of the most important things a Northern Irish driver can do to ensure their safety and the safety of other motorists and pedestrians.
Your car mirrors are designed to help you see what’s happening around your car and provide visibility to blind spots.
New Driver’s Stephen Savage explains, “Correctly adjusted car mirrors play a crucial role in driving safely because you need to be fully aware of your surroundings.
“But like any safety aid, drivers need to understand the value of car mirrors and how to use them appropriately.”
The two types of mirrors most frequently used by drivers are wing mirrors and rearview mirrors.
Here are some tips on both mirrors and how to adjust them correctly so that they provide the best protection and visibility to you.
Your wing mirrors are located on the doors on the driver’s side and passenger side just beside the windscreen.
How to adjust your wind mirrors correctly
Remember: Never try to adjust your wing mirrors until you’re sitting in the driver’s seat and you have adjusted your seat to a position that suits you as it is impossible to adjust them without having a driver’s view of how well they’ve adjusted.
First, make sure your driver’s seat is comfortable; ensure you have enough legroom, and the seat is adjusted (higher/lowered and forward/back) to your body type as much as possible.
Check that you can reach all of the car’s main controls comfortably without straining or stretching (handbrake, steering wheel, clutch, gears, brakes, accelerator etc.).
How high or low your seat is or how far forward or back the seat is impacts your view so always make sure your seat is perfect first.
Stephen Savage has this advice, “Most modern cars now have electrically controlled mirrors, usually located on the right-hand side of the driving wheel or on the driver’s side door panel.
“Use the buttons to move your mirrors, and keep in mind that correctly adjusted mirrors should not show much of your car.
“If you can see a lot of your car in both wing mirrors then adjust them again until you only see the edge of the back of your vehicle.
“If your car doesn’t have electric controls, simply adjust both mirrors with your hands,” he adds.
Stephen reminds drivers also to use the up and down buttons while adjusting their wing mirrors.
“The up and down options for your wing mirrors ultimately depend on the driver’s height and position in each car,” he added.
Your rearview mirror is located on the front windscreen of your car, to the left of your head when you’re in the driver’s seat.
This mirror is designed to allow the driver to see what is happening behind the car through the rear windscreen.
Speaking about the best way to adjust your rearview mirror, Stephen explained, “Your posture dictates a lot of what you can see.
“When you’re adjusting your rearview mirror don’t slouch or be overly straight-backed either; try and sit in a comfortable, natural position that you would normally be in.”
He continued, “When you’re sitting naturally, adjust your rearview mirror so that you can see the whole of the rear windscreen.
“You should be able to see the road behind you if it is adjusted correctly.
“Additionally, an adequately adjusted rearview mirror means you shouldn’t have to move your head to see behind you; you can glance your eyes at it while driving.
“And don’t forget,” he adds, “to avoid glare from other motorist’s lights, you can switch your rearview mirror to night view, which is usually included as an option in most cars.”
Keep up to date with all the Northern Ireland driving news, tips and tricks on the New Driver NI website.
Mirrors are an integral part of vehicles. Knowing how to adjust these mirrors and where to correctly position them is really important to ensure they are effective and serve their purpose.
The wing and rear-view mirrors help the person behind the wheels to see other vehicles from the sides and manoeuvre the vehicle safely. One of the first things one has to do once you enter the vehicle is to adjust the mirrors. If you take the vehicle on road without checking the mirrors you are asking for trouble. Actually, it is a common mistake committed by every one of us once in a while. So, it is better to check the mirrors before you set out in order to save your time and money and in fact even your life.
It is said that the face is the mirror of the mind, but, for a car, the mirror itself is the face.
Find the right seating position to drive like a pro
After setting the seat height and the distance from the steering, place your head on the headrest and check the mirror. There is no point in adjusting the mirrors without first ensuring a comfortable seat height and depth. From the headrest, you should be able to see all the three mirrors without moving your head. This is the correct seating position to adjust the mirrors.
Now, how to adjust the mirrors. First fix the rear-view mirror. Adjust it so that you can use a quarter of it to see the sky and the remaining three-quarters to see the road behind. You should get a view straight out of your car’s rear window, centred, and level.
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Now, adjust the wing mirrors. There are some people who fold the left-side mirror while driving. And then there are some who do not adjust the left mirror since they believe there is no need to use it. You need to use your mirrors effectively to keep up with what is happening behind and around you all the time.
You need to adjust both the side mirrors to get optimum view. The wing mirrors can be divided into three parts – the first part (the mirror’s left side) should show the side of the car while the other two should display the road and the surroundings.
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With these settings, you will have almost seamless visual contact around your vehicle by turning your head. Besides, you do not need to seek the help of your co-passenger to check for vehicles on the sides any more.
However, having your mirror adjusted correctly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check your blind spot. Every time you change lanes or pull out from a line of parked cars you must check your blind spot.