The importance of blind spot awareness in driving: Useful tips for staying safe on the road

Have you ever started drifting into a different lane and were suddenly met with a vehicle that wasn’t there before? If so, chances are that the vehicle was in your blind spot and you weren’t able to see it in your mirrors.

Blind spots are one of the biggest risks when driving and pose a serious threat, particularly in busy streets and heavy traffic. While blind spots can occur in different areas depending on the vehicle, there are ways to deal with them.

By adhering to the steps below and staying vigilant, you can improve your visibility when driving and reduce the chances of being involved in an accident.

wing mirror to check blind spots
Bikes can often look to find space between the traffic

The importance of blind spot awareness

Being aware of blind spots is key to driving safely and protecting other road users. When your mirrors and turn signals are used correctly, you can prevent accidents from ensuing with other cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. This can also improve your confidence when driving, reducing stress and making the journey more enjoyable.

Blind spot awareness is also a legal requirement and cannot be used as a reason for an accident. Checking your blind spots before turning or changing lanes is a fundamental part of driving examinations and so failing to understand their importance after passing isn’t acceptable. The reality is, lack of awareness can lead to accidents, especially impacting bikers who are harder to spot.

rear view mirror
Reversing is a manoeuvre that requires mirror checks and care

Techniques for dealing with blind spots

Adjusting your mirrors

Before driving, position yourself in the driver’s seat and angle each mirror until you are satisfied they take care of each blind spot. To ensure they are effective, adjust the side mirrors so that they reflect a small part of your car and the lane to the side of you. The rear-view mirror should be positioned so that it covers the entire rear window.

Using automatic detection systems

Most modern vehicles will be fitted with some form of technology to improve safety when driving. To help eliminate blind spots, features like proximity sensors and 360-degree cameras can alert you of obstacles that you may not have seen, reducing the risk of an accident.

Blind sport warning systems are included in all Hyundai Tucson models, as well as features like pedestrian detection and lane departure warning.

Driving and head position

While the way you sit when driving may not seem significant, you couldn’t be more wrong. Sitting too close to the steering wheel or slouching can impair your ability to see other road users and create more blind spots compared with sitting straight. To improve your posture when driving, keep the backrest at a 90-degree angle and adjust the seat height accordingly.

Even when the mirrors are all set at the correct angle, you can still miss objects due to their position behind you and around the vehicle. To check these, simply turn your head and glance over your shoulder in the direction you wish to turn.