Safely driving any motor vehicle requires a 360-degree view around the vehicle. This view must be available to the operator continuously while operating the vehicle. The driver does not have to be seeing everything from every direction at all times but needs to be able to check traffic, movement, or obstacles at any time the need arises.
Many drivers are getting used to the advanced technologies being added to newer vehicles. Some options on the vehicles make the vehicle almost drive itself. There are cameras at multiple angles, automatic breaking and parking, and there are more and more self-driving cars.
Mirrors are still an important requirement on every vehicle regardless of the new technology available.
The mirrors mounted on each side of the vehicle go out of position often. The mirror housing could be bumped by people walking by or struck by vehicles. If the housing has been moved out of position, they must be manually popped back into place.
The mirrors themselves can be adjusted electronically from inside the driver’s compartment. The side mirrors should be adjusted to display approaching traffic coming up from behind and alongside the vehicle.
The view directly behind the vehicle is seen by the inside, rearview mirror. This mirror has a night and day setting to adjust for headlight glare. There should not be any obstacles inside the vehicle to block the view of this mirror. The driver should have a clear view of approaching vehicles from the rear.
Those vehicles that have cameras available must be functional for them to be of benefit to the driver. They should be tested before driving off and lenses should be wiped clean.
Familiarity with Mirrors and Cameras
The driver should know how these tools work and what to expect of them. They should also know what they can’t do. Blind spots exist in almost every vehicle and the driver should know exactly where they are, so they can take appropriate actions.
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