VIDEO - Chuck Hawks on Setting Your Mirrors

VideoHow do you set your outside rear view mirrors? Most drivers set them so that the sides of their vehicle are just visible in the inside edge of the mirror. For forward motion, this is not the most effective view to have. Adjusting them further outward can result in the elimination of blind spots.

If you follow this example, as vehicles move out of sight from the interior rear view mirror, they will appear in the outside mirror giving you a much better idea of what is going on around you using only the mirrors.

This method of adjusting your mirrors does not mean that you no longer have to make shoulder checks and may not be the best view if you are backing into a parking space.


Chuck Hawks has a lot to learn, actually.

I think this is the second Chuck Hawks item on this site, purporting to provide good information about driving.

In the first one I noticed, found here, Outrageous questions his use of apparent statistics for US drivers, provided without any supporting evidence or source. Meanwhile CH shows little comprehension of the proper dynamic that should be built between parents and instructors, involving the training of a teen. But let's leave that for now, and think about this little video he's just presented about setting mirrors.

"Most people have their mirrors set incorrectly!" he tells us. As if he's some kind of expert who comprehends this stuff. In one sentence, he contradicts all of the good advice about mirror setting previously provided to the driver - from parents, driving instructors, driving manuals - without any explanation of why this advice is, apparently, incorrect. Damn, he's full of himself. Maybe he should have been a televangelist. The fact is, I first heard of this concept more than twenty years ago: this is not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination.

"I have lost sight of this car - this means I could change lanes right on top of it!" he tells us. Well you could, if you're that stupid. But not if you glanced peripherally (no need to turn your head), at your blind spot beforehand. Besides, you should have seen that thing coming up on you, or simply moving along in the adjacent lane beside you. 

Otherwise, buddy, you don't know how to drive.

As his video progresses, we note that he repeatedly reverses his car in the parking lot without ever looking around him, which would effectively use his own peripheral vision, or looking into the mirrors he's got as an alternative; more on this in the next paragraph.

He then goes on to suggest an absurd way of re-adjusting the mirrors by physically moving your head right and left in the car prior to re-adjusting the right and left mirrors. This is just stupid; if the goal is to set them so that they, along with the internal rear view mirror, provide an entire rear view without blind spots then it should be done with the driver's head in the normal place behind the wheel. That's the only physical position from which you can determine what your actual view is, of everything. Duh.

Also, prior to backing up in that parking lot - repeatedly - he fails to turn around or use his mirrors to identify any pedestrians or other moving objects entering his field of view. That's ignorant, and would result in serious demerit points on a driving test.

"They feel like they need to see the sides of their car, so right there ... " Well right there, they're correct. And that probably applies to most drivers who are reading this right now. Not a lot of the sides of their vehicle, but enough to provide a useful eye reference point. That's how the brain works, incidentally, but I could spend all day explaining all of the nuances of human vision (which provides 85% of our individual knowledge) and how it applies to driving, after having spent half my life as either a DI or DE.

Meanwhile, his whole comprehension of the reason that vehicles these days all come with these side mirrors is lacking. Mirrors aren't just for lane changing. They're for tracking all the other traffic around you in all lanes (including bicycles, dammit), which must include calculating its distance and speed relative to your own. Plus, they're also valuable when reversing into parking spots if adjusted in the normal manner, just to check clearances.

Think about this: drivers of commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks have no option. Shoulder checking is pointless. Plus which, you can't reverse safely unless you can place your vehicle in space accurately, such as when reversing into a parking spot or loading bay. But guess what? Crashes due to the operators of these vehicles hitting those in an adjacent lane are pretty rare. Why? Because they also have convex mirrors, and they know how to adjust them and use them in order to cover the blind spots. It's all they've got. But, it's enough.

CH doesn't actually understand any of this. He's just marketing himself. I won't bother telling him what he can do with that new camera of his.

The fact is, we live in a day and age when it's vitally important to be aware of other potentially adjacent road users, whether they're in bus lanes, bike lanes, high occupancy vehicle lanes, before we can ever safely move over. Collisions only happen because one of the road users tried to occupy the same space at the same time as another. And if a collision results, the chances are good that the fault for the error will be with the driver. 

Adjust your mirrors - and use your eyes - accordingly. You may even have to turn your head a bit sometimes, if you don't have any convex mirrors. But you must not move over, without ensuring that you're not going to affect another road user - who may be travelling in an adjacent lane at quite a different speed to your own.

Worse mirror adjusting lesson EVER!!!

I agree withCompetentDrivingBC on this one, this guy doesn't know what he is talking about. I only got halfway through this video to know how wrong he is. He is teaching you how to create a blind spot on both sides of your car that will make you unable to see a bicycle or motorcycle coming up on either side of your vehicle from behind.

First of all, you should maintain your regular seated position and only turn your head to the right and then set your mirror so that you can just see a sliver of your vehicle in it, confirming you have no blind spot to the rear in that mirror, this will maximize the mirror surface that you have(unfortunately most drivers have sight of their own car in half the mirror that just narrows a 6 inch wide mirror to 3 inches of useful space), when he explains that he lost sight of the car to the right this shows the importance of shoulder checking to see that space before moving your vehicle to the right, never rely on mirrors alone.

Use the same procedure on the left, just by turning your head only, you should see only a sliver of your vehicle in the mirror ensuring there is no blind spot to the rear and maximizing use of the mirror surface. This method will give you maximum mirror coverage from the side mirrors, the rear view mirror will show you what is directly behind you and also provide a small amount of overlap with the side mirrors.

Mirror checking and shoulder checking should always be done before moving the steering wheel in either direction. Relying on mirrors alone is not sufficient to safe and defensive driving.

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