Author Topic: VISION AND DRIVING  (Read 2465 times)

Offline swanson

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« on: November 25, 2008, 08:28:52 PM »
Vision and Driving

Tony Scotti


How many times have you been driving down the road and another driver moving in the same direction drives into your lane? The person obviously did not see you in their mirrors, or simply did not look before turning the steering wheel. Many times we blame the latter for the problem but in reality they did look, they just did not see you. Their mirrors where not adjusted properly.

When discussing vision there are two important issues. The first is driving a vehicle that has the proper equipment and then assuring the driver uses the equipment properly. All vehicles should have three mirrors. There is no excuse at all for not having cars with two mirrors (A rear and left side mirror) but you really should have three mirrors. Most people don't understand the importance of a right-side mirror. Having no right-side mirror assumes no one will ever pass you on the right or that you will never have to move to the right. It is also necessary that all the mirrors be adjustable from the driver’s position.

How important are mirrors? Without them the only way we know what's behind us or coming along side us would be to turn and look. It only takes a second or two to look. It may not seem like much but at 50 MPH a car is traveling at the rate of 75 feet per second. If the driver looks over his shoulder for two seconds he would cover 150 feet without the knowledge of what's going on in front of him. At 65 MPH you would cover almost 200 feet. You cannot afford to turn and look while driving on a highway nor in slow city driving. If you do reaction time and braking time could all be gone in two seconds?

Let's look at how to use the mirrors and how to adjust the mirrors.

Look at figure one. Start with the right side mirror; adjust it so it gives a clear view of traffic on your right (Zone 1). It must be adjusted so you can see a vehicle or part of the vehicle on the right until your peripheral vision picks up the vehicle on the right. Therefore, as the vehicle leaves your vision in ZONE TWO (REAR VIEW MIRROR) it must appear in the ZONE ONE THE right side mirror. As it leaves ZONE ONE & TWO it must appear in your peripheral vision.

Now adjust the center mirror (rear view mirrors) on your vehicle (Zone 2). The center mirror will cover everything directly behind you, but it also covers the blind spot on your right that your right mirror failed to pick up. It must also cover part of the left side of the vehicle where you will also have a blind spot on the left mirror. The rear view mirror must be adjusted so that as a vehicle disappears from its view it will appear in one of the side mirrors (ZONE ONE OR ZONE THREE).

Now adjust the left mirror; adjust it so you can see a vehicle coming up on your left side and keeps it in view until your peripheral vision picks it up. Why is it so important to know if a car is coming up behind you? When you have to make an evasive action, you need to know what's behind you and what may inhibit a move either left or right. Therefore, when the vehicle leaves the rear view mirror (ZONE TWO) it must appear in the left side mirror (ZONE THREE). When it leaves the left side mirror it must appear in the driver's peripheral vision.

Every driver should be cognizant of what is in their mirrors every few seconds; traffic changes - so does your escape routes. Remember, well adjusted mirrors will give you up-to-date information every few seconds. Properly adjusted mirrors could give you the emergency time you need to avoid an accident.