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Blind spots: What they are and how to avoid them

All drivers out on the roads daily should be aware of blind spots.

Countless accidents can be put down to cars not being spotted in these positions, resulting in adverse outcomes for everyone involved.

In this article, we’ll be explaining what blind spots are and how to avoid certain types of accidents when driving. Keep reading!


What are blind spots ?

Blind spots are areas around a car that drivers cannot see and therefore assume are empty.

Your rearview mirror reflects only parts of the front of your vehicle and the vehicles driving behind you.


Why do blind spots exist ?

Blind spots are created because mirrors can’t reflect 100% of what is going on around a vehicle.

If you want to learn more about how to adjust your rearview mirror, check out our article, Rear view mirrors: What´s for and how to adjust

Experienced drivers are more used to facing the difficulties caused by reduced visibility while driving, taking extra care when carrying out any manoeuvre.

Inexperienced drivers should check their mirrors several times, viewing the road from every possible angle before carrying out any manoeuvre.



Where are a car’s blind spots located?

Blind spots are located in various places around a vehicle:


  • Windscreens

The pillar that supports the windscreen blocks driver visibility from certain angles, which may be problematic when a driver wants to turn.


  • Rearview mirror

Rearview mirrors located inside vehicles can be beneficial. They can, however, sometimes mislead drivers.

When driving on hilly or bumpy roads, rearview mirrors can sometimes leave blind spots of certain parts of the road, preventing drivers from seeing what might be in them.


  • Wing mirrors

The most common blind spot lies just outside the field of vision when drivers look into their wing mirrors. Some systems can be added to these mirrors to avoid blind spots.

To avoid accidents involving vehicles that may lie in these blind spots, drivers should adopt defensive driving practices and follow the tips provided in the following paragraphs.


How can drivers avoid blind spots?

To avoid blind spots, drivers should follow these steps:


1. Adjust their seat and rearview mirror

Drivers should adjust their seats and rearview mirror to ensure they get a good view of what is happening around their car.


2. Ensure wing mirrors are positioned correctly

When positioned correctly, wing mirrors reduce any blind spots.

To do so, make sure you can see the back of the vehicle as well as the space around it.


3. Signal every manoeuvre

All drivers must use their indicators before performing any manoeuvre.

Drivers must signal every manoeuvre in advance so that other drivers around them know what they will do.


4. Be especially aware at roundabouts

When driving around roundabouts with multiple lanes, drivers should look both ways several times before carrying out any manoeuvres.


5. Check their field of vision

When using either wing mirror, lean forwards a little to check whether any vehicles or pedestrians are nearby.

Doing so widens drivers’ fields of vision without them having to change the positioning of their wing mirrors.


6. Pinpoint each blind spot around a vehicle

Before setting off, any driver should be aware of the blind spots of their vehicle, especially if driving a motorcycle or large lorry.



Which devices can be used to prevent blind spots on a car?

Devices that can help mitigate blind spots are the BLIS system and the blind spot system.

These two systems, especially when used alongside the ABS system and traction control, increase the passive safety of a vehicle while on the road.

Several systems can be used to alert drivers of the presence of vehicles and people in their blind spots:


  • Blind spot system

The most common blind spot system consists of sensors placed in mirrors and/or along a car body to detect other vehicles or pedestrians.

Should they be detected, a light comes on in the rearview mirror, or a sound alert is issued inside the car.


  • BLIS System

The BLIS system was created in 2004 by car manufacturer Volvo and uses cameras, ultrasound, and radar to detect vehicles and pedestrians in a vehicle’s blind spots.


How do blind spot systems work?

Blind spot systems use cameras, sensors, ultrasound, and radar to detect other vehicles or pedestrians that may not be visible to a driver.

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