According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 840,000 blind spot-related accidents happen yearly. Failure to check your blind spots could make you end up as a part of the statistic.
That’s why blind spot mirrors were invented – to reduce this number and make it easier to keep an eye on your blind spots. This article will guide you through where to place blind spot mirrors to get the most use out of them.
Blind Spots In Cars
A blind spot is an area around your vehicle that cannot be observed while driving. Every vehicle on the road has blind spots – no matter the size. Blind spots exist due to the way vehicles are made – size and the location of the A-pillars, different styles, and dimensions of mirrors.
Benefits of Blind Spot Mirrors
- A better view of your blind spots. Blind spot mirrors give you the ability to see pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles, and other cars that would otherwise be missed by your car’s factory side mirror. Switching lanes and making turns will become a lot less stressful.
- It makes parallel parking easier. With the right placement and adjustment of the mirrors, you can clearly see the rear tire and the side of the road. You will no longer have to guess how close a curb is to your wheels.
- Monitor children around your vehicle. To a kid, a parking place is a big playground, and if you’re not actively looking out for them, an accident could occur. Blind spot mirrors give you a better view of the side and the back of your car, which helps to avoid such incidents.
Should I Get a Blind Spot Mirror?
Yes! A blind spot mirror is a must-have for a defensive driver. The benefits above should be enough to answer this question but if you’re still unsure, remember that you can find a pair of blind spot mirrors for the same price as your lunch!
Where to Place Blind Spot Mirrors
Most blind spot mirrors do come with instructions for that specific blind spot mirror so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for that specific mirror. In case you lost your blind spot mirrors instructions, the whole process is very simple. Here is a general guide for proper blind spot mirror placement:
1. Decide Where You Want The Blind Spot Mirror
Depending on the style and size of the blind spot mirror, you should first test which placement gives you the most visibility.
To do this, use clear sticky tape to temporarily hold the blind spot mirror and then test different positions. Do not peel off the adhesive on the backside of the blind spot mirror yet – you’re only testing different positions. Make sure to wrap clear sticky tape over the blind spot mirror and around the side view mirror. You do not want the blind spot mirror falling down on you while you’re testing different positions of placement.
Placing the mirror on the lower outer corner and positioning it downwards gives you the additional benefit of having a great view of parking lines and curbs near your wheels. One disadvantage of placing your blind spot mirror this way is that the blind spot mirror will take up more useful space of the car’s factory side-view mirror.
Another way to place the blind spot mirror is the inner lower part of the side-view mirror. This way the blind spot mirror takes up the least amount of useful space of the factory side-view mirror.
If you have two blind spot mirrors you can get the best of both worlds. You could angle the right-side blind spot mirror for a wide view of the blind spot (because the right side of the car has the biggest blind spot) and angle your left-side blind spot mirror downwards to see the parking lines.
Blind spot mirror placement is all about personal preference and finding out which position works best for your specific car and blind spot mirror, just make sure to avoid placing the blind spot mirror too close to the edges of the side-view mirror because it might interfere with the remote mirror adjustment.
2. Clean Your Side-View Mirrors
Nobody wants to lose their blind spot mirrors at a car wash. Make sure the surface of the side mirrors is clean of dust, debris, and oils. You can use soapy water or alcohol to remove to clean the mirrors and remove any oils. Make sure the mirrors are completely dry and free of dust before sticking your blind spot mirror in place.
3. Install The Blind Spot Mirror
Now, that you’ve found the right blind spot mirror placement for you and the side-view mirror is completely clean and dry, peel back the cover on the adhesive of the blind spot mirror and stick it to your desired location. Apply some gentle pressure on the blind spot mirror and hold it for 30 seconds to make sure the adhesive makes good contact with the surface.
Note: if your mirror has a swivel mount you should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, but typically installing such a blind spot mirror requires sticking a special swivel bracket onto the back of the blind spot mirror and only then to stick the whole assembly onto the side-view mirror.
4. Keep The Blind Spot Mirror Dry for The First 24 Hours
This step will help to ensure the adhesive gets enough time to stick to the side-view mirror properly.
How Can I Remove My Blind Spot Mirrors?
Removing blind spot mirrors won’t be easy as the adhesive is strong. Heating up the adhesive with a hairdryer will help. Use plastic trim removal tools – they will minimize the risk of scratching the surface of your car’s side-view mirror as they are soft.
The leftover adhesive after you get the mirror off should be cleaned with soapy water and a microfiber towel.
Should I Still Perform a Shoulder Check?
Yes! Even if your car has blind spot mirrors and a blind spot detection system, it is still recommended to do a quick check over your shoulder after checking the blind spot mirrors and monitors. Sometimes other cars and motorcycles can get out of your visibility range extremely quickly, therefore a shoulder check is always the best option.
Eddie is the co-founder of CarCareCamp.com, and the site’s primary contributor. Automotive repair has played a major role in his family for generations and he’s determined to continue the legacy further on. Under his belt, Eddie has a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Electronics Engineering and almost a decade of experience working as an electrician in a major semi-truck dealership in Europe.