Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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

A: The rear-view mirror in your vehicle is one...

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How Do I Clean My Car Mirrors?

Cleaning your mirrors, or any glass for that matter, can be done with good results or poor results. There are some basic things to remember when cleaning your mirrors. This works for your windows too. First of all, do this...

Q: Vehicle hesitating upon startup and reverse camera doesn't always work.

Hello, for the hesitation on start up, I am assuming you are referring to a slow starting condition. A weak battery or a starter motor beginning to fail can cause a slow starting condition. You should have the battery tested,...

Q: How Are Car Mirrors Used Correctly?

Automotive mirrors are one of the most crucial aids used in safe driving. When properly adjusted, they allow the driver to quickly see objects and other vehicles that are around you without turning your head or losing focus on your...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...