What is the blind spot when driving? If you are a person who often drives, you may have often heard about blind spots. This phrase is often mentioned when discussing the causes of accidents. The blind spot is considered one of the things that causes the driver to crash because he cannot see the presence of other objects or vehicles.
What is the blind spot when driving?
A blind spot is any area immediately surrounding your vehicle that cannot directly be observed by you, the driver, within your normal field of vision. Your field of vision includes anything you can see directly in front of you as well as anything you can easily see in your peripheral vision or side and rear view mirrors.
Blind spots can occur when the A-pillar (also known as the windshield pillar), side-view mirrors or interior rear-view mirror block your view of the road. Cargo, headrests and additional pillars in the rear of the vehicle can also create blind spots.
These blind spots hide any object positioned within them from the driver’s normal field of vision, including other cars, pedestrians, barriers and more.
Where are the blind spots in a car?
Your side mirrors are angled in such a way that you can see directly behind your car on either side, essentially giving you a cone of backward vision when coupled with your rearview. Your peripheral vision and quick side glances can allow you to see forwards at roughly a 180-degree angle that intersects your side mirrors.
The two additional areas marked in the image may be smaller than the primary blind spots, but it’s still essential to understand where they are. You might not lose sight of a car in one of these small areas, but a motorbike could very easily slide in undetected.
Why is a blind spot dangerous?
Blind spots are dangerous because they can prevent you from noticing hazards and other road users. For instance, you might turn into another vehicle, or be turned into, because a blind spot prevented you from noticing them or from being noticed.
Motorcyclists and cargo trucks are the most likely to cause blind spot issues. This is because motorbikes are small and tend to weave through traffic. They can sit in your blindspot and be difficult to see at all until you turn across them.
The same thing, in reverse, is true of cargo haulers. Their large size and hight make it very difficult for the driver to be able to see the full length of the vehicle, meaning they can drift into you while you are sat in their blindspot.
How to avoid the risks of blind spots?
Avoiding the dangers presented by your car’s blind spots boils down to two factors:
Knowing how to check your blind spots
Checking your blind spots involves a complete shoulder check, which will be examined frequently during your road test. In short, a shoulder check involves turning your head 90 degrees to either side and looking out the two side windows with your peripheral vision.
For example, turning your head to the left allows you to look directly out your own window, while also allowing your peripheral vision to pick up any movement or light cues that might be hiding in your blind spot—and the same goes for the right.
Knowing when to check your blind spots
Even though we might have mentioned the importance of checking your blind spots, checking them too often can be just as dangerous as not checking them at all.
Frequent and unnecessary checking draws your focus away from what’s going on in front of you, limiting the time you have to react to risky situations. This is one of the things you are taught when learning defensive driving techniques.
That being said, you should check your blind spot every time you need to move your car in that direction to make sure that nothing is hiding beyond your vision, which can be any of the following situations:
- Making a turn Whether you are turning right or left, you need to first check your blind spot and side mirror about 5 seconds before you reach the turn and then again as you reach the turn.
- Changing lanes This involves total lane changes, or even if you are entering a branching turning lane to ensure that there aren’t any cyclists, pedestrians, or approaching cars.
- Pulling away from a curb You may be turning to the left or right when pulling away from a curb, which will need an appropriate mirror and shoulder check.
- Curbside parking Similar to pulling away, you may be entering the curb space to the right or to the left, and will need to perform an appropriate mirror and shoulder check.
Although unlikely, failure to check your blind spots during one of these situations may give you an automatic fail on your driving test, even if your car has blindspot sensors!
When is the best time to check blind spots?
You should constantly be aware of what’s happening around you when you’re behind the wheel. In most cases, you should be able to accomplish this by focusing on the roadway before you and often checking your mirrors.
Nevertheless, there are certain circumstances in which it is essential to swivel your head and check if there is anything in the areas you can’t see. These include:
- Before moving, you must confirm that you will not go directly into another person’s path.
- Before making a lane change, motorists or cyclists may have drawn up beside you when you’re trying to pass another vehicle or get into the correct lane at an intersection.
- It is not enough to stare in your mirrors and hope for the best while driving on multi-lane highways since other drivers may be changing lanes behind you.
- When other cars are entering your lane from an adjacent one, drivers who wish to pull out from slip roads or merge into your lane in any other way require a clear distance in which to do so.
How many times should you check your blind spots?
To maintain situational awareness while driving in traffic, it is important to check your mirrors regularly. Make a habit of glancing at your mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds to stay informed about the surrounding vehicles.
Additionally, ensure you check your mirrors before braking or slowing down to understand the traffic behind you clearly. When preparing for turns or lane changes, always check your mirrors and blind spots beforehand to assess potential risks or obstacles.
Furthermore, when transitioning into or out of the curb lane, check your mirrors and blind spot for a smooth and safe maneuver. Regularly monitoring your mirrors and diligently checking blind spots will help you stay informed, anticipate potential hazards, and make informed decisions on the road.
What is an example of a blind spot?
One example of the bias blind spot is that, when people are asked to assess a social conflict, they often assume that their own interpretation of it is fair, but that other people’s interpretations of it will be biased.
What are the 10 blind spots in driving?
A blind spot is any area around your vehicle that you can’t directly see or view in your mirrors. That means every window and door pillar in your car is a blind spot, as are your front passenger seat, rear seat headrests, and even your passengers’ heads themselves.
How far is the blind spot from your eye?
The blind spot in humans is located about 12–15° temporally and 1.5° below the horizontal and is roughly 7.5° high and 5.5° wide.
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