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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.

Wing mirrors

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.

Rearview mirrors

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.”


You might also be interested in how to drive safely in heavy rain or 5 smart tips for new Northern Ireland drivers.

Keep up to date with all the Northern Ireland driving news, tips and tricks on the New Driver NI website.

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