How to Manage Blind Spots While Driving

Managing blind spots while driving is an important skill to learn, especially considering the limitations of rearview and side mirrors. Ideally, drivers should have a 360-degree view around their vehicle, but blind spots can hinder this. These areas, not visible through mirrors or direct line of sight, pose significant hazards if not managed correctly. In this discussion, we’ll explore what blind spots are, where they’re typically located, and strategies to minimize their impact for safer driving.

Being aware of your surroundings is crucial for safe driving. Blind spots are areas around the vehicle where visibility is limited, often outside the range of mirrors. Understanding blind spots helps drivers anticipate potential dangers and take proactive measures like shoulder checks before changing lanes. By learning to manage blind spots effectively, drivers can enhance overall road safety and reduce the risk of accidents caused by unseen vehicles. Here, we’ll explore what blind spots are, where they are typically located, and how you can minimize their impact to drive more safely.

How to Manage Blind Spots While Driving

What Are Blind Spots?

Blind spots refer to areas around a vehicle that are not directly visible to the driver, either through mirrors or by turning their head. These spots exist due to the design and structure of the vehicle, particularly the presence of roof pillars and the vehicle’s body. Blind spots can vary in size and location depending on the type and size of the vehicle. They typically include areas immediately behind the vehicle, alongside the rear pillars, and alongside the vehicle towards the rear. 

Blind spots are important for drivers to know about because they represent areas around the vehicle where visibility is limited, posing a risk of potential collisions with unseen vehicles or pedestrians. Learning more about blind spots helps drivers adopt proactive measures like checking mirrors and performing shoulder checks before changing lanes or making maneuvers. Understanding and addressing blind spots are crucial elements of safe driving, ensuring that drivers have a clear awareness of their surroundings and can react appropriately to potential hazards on the road.


Blind spots are critical areas around a vehicle where the driver’s visibility is obstructed, leading to potential dangers on the road. These could lead to accidents if not properly checked. Other risks associated with blind spots include:

  • Lane Change Accidents

Blind spots can result in collisions when a driver attempts to change lanes without properly checking for vehicles in adjacent lanes that may be obscured from view.

  • Pedestrian and Cyclist Hazards

Blind spots can hide pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists approaching from the sides, increasing the risk of accidents when turning or merging.

  • Merge Collisions

When merging onto highways or busy roads, drivers with blind spots may fail to see vehicles approaching from behind, leading to dangerous merge collisions.

  • Obstacle Collisions

Blind spots can conceal stationary objects or debris on the road, posing a risk of impact if drivers are unaware of their presence.

  • Backing Accidents

Blind spots behind a vehicle can make it challenging to see obstacles or pedestrians when reversing, potentially resulting in backing accidents.

Understanding these dangers highlights the importance of effectively managing blind spots through regular mirror adjustments, shoulder checks, and increased awareness while driving.

How to Check Blind Spots

Checking blind spots means ensuring that areas around your vehicle not visible in mirrors are clear before changing lanes or making turns. This involves performing the following actions and quick checks to verify if any vehicles or obstacles are present in these obscured areas in order to minimize the risk of collisions and drive more safely on the road.

1. Use Mirrors Effectively

Regularly check your side and rear view mirrors. Adjust them so you have the widest possible view of the lanes beside and behind you.

2. Perform Shoulder Checks

Before changing lanes, quickly glance over your shoulder to check for any vehicles that may be in your blind spot.

3. Use Blind Spot Monitoring Systems

Many modern vehicles come equipped with blind spot monitoring systems. These systems alert you to the presence of vehicles in your blind spots using indicators on your mirrors or dashboard.

Common Locations of Blind Spots

Small Vehicles

In smaller cars, blind spots are typically found on the sides of the vehicle. This is because the side mirrors only provide a limited field of view, leaving certain areas unobservable directly from the driver’s seat.

Larger Vehicles

For larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs, blind spots are more pronounced. Trucks, for instance, have blind spots directly in front of them (up to 20 feet), to the left (up to two lanes), to the right (one lane), and directly behind them (up to 30 feet). The elevated seating position of truck drivers also makes it difficult to see what’s immediately in front of the vehicle.

How to Reduce Blind Spots While Driving

To mitigate the risks associated with blind spots, drivers must be proactive in checking these areas before making any maneuvers on the road. 

1. Adjust Your Mirrors Correctly

  • Rearview Mirror: Ensure it is angled to provide a clear view out of the back window.
  • Side Mirrors: Adjust them so you can barely see the side of your car. This setup reduces overlap with the rearview mirror and maximizes the field of view.

2. Add Aftermarket Mirrors

Consider installing additional mirrors that offer a wider field of view, such as convex mirrors. These can help you see areas that standard mirrors miss.

3. Use Technology

If your car doesn’t come with built-in blind spot monitoring, consider installing aftermarket sensors or cameras that provide alerts when a vehicle enters your blind spot.

4. Stay Aware of Other Vehicles

Avoid driving in the blind spots of other vehicles, especially larger ones like trucks. If you find yourself in a truck’s blind spot, safely adjust your position to ensure the truck driver can see you.

5. Be Cautious in Poor Visibility

Weather conditions such as rain, fog, or snow can exacerbate blind spots by reducing overall visibility. Drive more carefully under these conditions, using your lights and reducing speed.

Video: Understanding Blind Spots to Avoid Road Accidents

Blind spots can be dangerous and even deadly for drivers and other road users. Having said that, there are four deadly accidents that can result from ignoring the risks of blind spots. For more tips and information regarding staying safe and aware of blind spots, especially while driving, you may want to check this video from ManibelaTV.


Blind spots are an unavoidable part of driving, but with the right techniques and tools, you can minimize their risks. Regularly adjusting your mirrors, performing shoulder checks, and utilizing blind spot monitoring systems are all effective strategies. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can ensure a safer driving experience for yourself and others on the road.

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