The Safest Ways to Use Your Car Mirrors

Your car has a number of safety features, but none are more important than your car mirrors. Without a functional car rear mirror and side view mirrors, you’d be unable to drive safely in a multi-lane situation, or even on a two-lane highway. They provide critical visibility of cars behind and beside you. Here are some tips for safely using your mirrors.

Adjusting your mirrors

The most critical thing for using your car side mirror or rear mirror correctly is to make sure they’re adjusted for your height. Each driver is different, and you’ll need to adjust all three mirrors every time someone else slides behind the wheel.

To adjust your side mirrors correctly, follow these simple steps:

  • Make sure you’re seated correctly and can reach the wheel and pedals easily

  • Adjust the side mirror outward until you can no longer see the side of your own car

  • Have someone stand beside and slightly behind your field of view, approximating a vehicle in the lane beside you

  • Make sure you can fully see them

  • Repeat this for the other side

For a visual explanation, Car and Driver has a great example.

For your rearview mirror:

  • Adjust the mirror up or down, left or right, until you can see the entirety of your back glass and the road behind you

Tips for safely using car mirrors

Whether you’ve had a car mirror replacement, or one of them has just been knocked out of alignment, follow these simple tips for better safety:

  • Always check the view from all three mirrors before getting on the road
  • Always adjust all three mirrors after anyone else has driven the vehicle
  • Always keep your mirrors clean and in good repair

With these tips, you should be able to use your mirrors safely at all times.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Mirror Control Switch
Common signs include mirrors not adjusting side to side or up and down, not adjusting at all, or not adjusting from the slave (passenger) switch.
How Long Does a Door Mirror Last?
Your Your vehicle comes equipped with all kinds of safety features meant to make life safer and easier for you, as well as those others on the road. One of those safety features is your door mirror. By using this...
How to Replace a Rearview Mirror
A rearview mirror is failing when it is cracked, the dimming function is not working or the mirror is discolored. Replace the mirror if it is missing.

Related questions

How do you turn on the heated mirrors?
Depending on the trim level of your car, it may have heated mirrors. This allows you to defrost them easily, removing frost and fog that might obscure your vision. Turning them on is simple. Here’s how: Locate the button on...
How do I turn on the heated mirrors?
The heated mirrors can help give you visibility out of your side mirrors by eliminating any rain, ice, or condensation. The heated mirrors will automatically turn on when the rear defroster is turned on.
2004 saab 9-3 linear . glass mirror plate fell off of the passenger side
To request an exact repair quote please click on "Get a Quote" at YourMechanic's door mirror replacement service page (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/door-mirror-replacement). If you desire to attempt the repair yourself, and your existing mirror is not re-usable (that is the glass cannot...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com