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Blind Spots - A Complete Guide

Blind Spots - A Complete Guide

Mirrors may be a driver’s best friend, but it can be dangerous to trust them too much. Although our rear view and wing mirrors give us a great view of what is behind and to either side of us, they don’t tell the complete story. And while blind spots are talked about a lot during driving lessons, they can soon be forgotten by more experienced drivers. Here’s what you need to know.

Blind spots – the basics

A blind spot is an area that can’t be seen by mirrors. In order to see the areas that your mirror won’t reach it is, therefore, necessary for you to physically turn your head and look over your shoulder. The exact size and location of a blind spot will depend on a range of factors, including the size and layout of the vehicle, as well as the driver’s driving position.

In case you have forgotten since your learning days, or if you are learning how to drive, you need to check your blind spot immediately after you check your mirror. Even if your vehicle has motion sensors to the side, it is good practice to check the spots as vulnerable road users (horse and riders, pedestrians, cyclists), may not be visible in your mirrors at certain points. Just look out of the window over your right shoulder to make sure that there isn’t anything coming up behind, or to the side, of you.

When to check your blind spot

You need to check your blind spot whenever you move away from a stationary position, at junctions and roundabouts, and when overtaking. If you are unsure or can’t get great visibility, wind your window down and make sure that the path that you are moving into is clear before heading off.


You don’t just need to check your blind spot when you are pulling away or turning. Checking your blind spot is imperative when you are merging onto a road or changing lanes; it is easy to miss a small vehicle coming up alongside you. You don’t only need to think about others being in your blind spot; you need to consider that you could be in someone else’s. This is something to be especially aware of if you are in a smaller car or you are overtaking a large vehicle; in general terms, if you can’t see their wing mirrors, then they can’t see you. If you are overtaking a much larger vehicle, keep an eye on them in case they are planning on overtaking, too; if in doubt, sound your horn.

Once you start driving, most of the processes soon become second nature. However, it is easy to slip into bad habits. If you are unaccustomed to driving on motorways, an advanced driving lesson could help you to embed good habits; it could even reduce your insurance premium, too.

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