Observe, plan, react
1. Decide what you are going to do
2. Observe who will be affected by what you are going to do
3. Let everyone know what you are going to do
4. Do it!
How to use your mirrors effectively
It’s one of the first things you learn when you start driving lessons. Every time you need to change how you’re driving in reaction to a road situation, you follow the same process:
- Mirrors: check the rear-view and appropriate side mirror
- Signal: indicate the direction you’re taking either with your car position (when overtaking a bicycle, for example) or indicator, allowing for what you see in your mirrors
- Manoeuvre: make your move smoothly and decisively while you know it’s safe
When and why you should use your mirrors:
- Before moving off to check it’s safe to pull out into traffic
- Before signalling to check you won’t confuse a driver behind you
- Before any change of direction including turning, overtaking and changing lanes
- Before any change in speed to make sure other drivers have time to react
Remember: Side mirrors are convex (curved outwards) so things look further away than they actually are!
Also known as the rear view mirror, This is usually a mirror made with flat glass which gives a true picture of anything behind you. The image reflected in such mirrors isn’t distorted, which makes it easier to judge the speed and distance of following traffic.
Most car mirrors have an anti-dazzle lever. This is for use at night so that you are not blinded by the glare of headlights from vehicles behind.
This is an area around your car that cannot be seen in your mirrors. The most dangerous of these are the blind spots behind your left and right shoulders, the area obscured by the bodywork of the car when you look in your side mirrors.
To counter these blind spots you should look over your right and left shoulders to observe the view through the side windows.
Sometimes you will need to check a blind spot whilst on the move such as when changing lanes on a dual-carriageway.
To do this glance quickly to the left or right. There is no need to turn and look right behind, as this is dangerous.