How useful are mirrors?

 

We all like to have a sneaky peek in the mirror to check that we look at our best, to make sure we don’t still have a bit of lunch left in our beards, or lipstick in our teeth! But mirrors are so much more important when it comes to driving!

With recent studies of drivers habits carried out, we found that there were some really bad driving habits. One of the most worrying found was the lack of use of the rear view and side mirrors by so many experienced drivers. In some extreme cases cars are caught being driven without any mirrors fitted, or perhaps a wing mirror folded back.

How important is it to use your mirrors? They are used as part of the ‘Mirror-Signal-Manouvere’ routine that you will be taught when driving. In fact mirrors will be used in everything that you are taught with us at Want Driving Lessons.

When you start the engine for the first time during your practical driving test- your examiner will expect you to carry out all the relevant checks. These should be routine for you by this time as you would have been taught to do them every time you get into the drivers seat. These checks are designed to ensure you and your passengers will remain safe as you pull out into the road.

You will need to make sure that there is nothing or no one blocking your way before you begin to move the car. You can wind down the windows and stick you head out to have a look, turn around and take a glance through the back window too. These are all suitable ways in which to do these checks, you will also be required to use the car’s mirrors too.

What is so important about using mirrors? The answer to this is simple, mirrors will help give you a greater awareness of what is around you while you are in the car. they are there so that you will not have to physically get out of the car to keep checking your environment. Whether you live in any big cosmopolitan city or a quiet town in the middle of nowhere- there are always hazards and they will come in different forms. What ‘form’ they will take depends on the situation you find yourself in.

Some examples could be pedestrians, young children running into the road as you drive past a school. There will also be the hazard threat from oncoming traffic for those who live in the larger cities. On quieter country roads a hazard could be that awkward sharp bend in the road where visibility is reduced for example. There maybe livestock crossing the roads near your home at certain times each and everyday. Deer and the odd wild sheep are not unknown to go wondering. In all of this cases using your mirrors could be the very thing that helps you avoid disaster,  in some cases may save lives!

The largest mirror is the ‘Rear View mirror’ also known as the ‘Interior mirror’. Its long in shape and is located right in front of you at the top of the windscreen. It’s fitted on a spring-like movable mechanism and can be positioned so that you get the best view of the road behind you. Then you have the ‘Wing’ mirrors are also known as ‘Side’ or ‘door’ mirrors. They do exactly what the name suggests and give the driver essential vision around the side of the car, the car doors and tyres. You are able to get a view of the traffic occurring to either side of your car.

Mirrors along with the observation needed are just two of the most important aspects of learning to drive safely.

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