Q: Can I Only Use the Rearview Mirror to Drive in Reverse?

asked by on November 18, 2015

Can I only use the rearview mirror to drive in reverse?

The rear-view mirror in your vehicle is one of several mirrors that we use to gain a safe view of the other cars and obstacles around us while driving. Typically, as the name implies, the main purpose of this mirror is to use to look behind the vehicle without having to turn around. So a natural time to use this mirror would be when you are going to back up your vehicle.

Make sure you are only using this to see if an object is in your way or path. You should not use this without looking behind as you don’t have a full view of your surroundings. Along with the sideview mirrors it can help you see objects behind while backing up but serves a better purpose when preparing to change lanes. A properly adjusted rear view mirror will allow you to glance at the mirror without turning your head and see those other vehicles and objects that could impact your driving. In fact, this mirror is used more efficiently while driving to keep track of the other cars on the road than when backing up.

Since your vehicle has a minimum of one to two outside mirrors the combination helps to give us valuable feedback on our surroundings while we travel daily. These mirrors come in a manual dimming type, automatic dimming type and can include a backup camera as well. Manual dimming allows the user to rotate a lever that changes the angle of the mirror. This will decrease the light directed to the driver’s eyes, reduces glare, improve safety, and provide comfort while driving.

Auto-dimming rear-view mirrors have a sensor that detects light levels and glare behind your car and adjusts the glare level or reflection of the mirror to reduce the effect of glare that is sent to your eyes. This same auto dimming feature can also be available in your exterior mirrors. Along with the auto dimming feature, many of these mirrors today include a compass and will also display the ambient temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Newer vehicles will be equipped with backup cameras which work when in reverse so you can see the objects or people behind your vehicle. This is particularly helpful when you need a good view of a curb or space mark lines when backing up. These cameras usually have grids that will show your position in reference to the space and curb of the spot or area you are backing up into and usually have color coded lines to assist with distance judging. In conclusion, rearview sight is not only crucial for backing up but also for safe forward travel on the highway.

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