How to Correctly Set Up Your Car’s Mirrors

Straight out of the gate on your practical driving test, your examiner will expect you to check your vehicle’s mirrors. If you do not check your mirrors properly or frequently enough, it can lead to a test fail. But in order to check your mirrors properly, you first have to set them up. So, how do you know if you have set your mirrors correctly?

Your driving instructor will usually talk you through the process of setting up your mirrors. But if you need a refresher, this short guide should help.

How to Set Up Your Car Mirrors

Rear view mirror

Your car’s rear-view mirror is one of its most important safety features. It enables you to maintain full awareness of what is happening around you, without turning your head. And this is important because when you turn, you can not only miss hazards ahead, but inadvertently change the direction of your car. But if you don’t know what is happening behind you, you can’t prepare for any potential dangers.

Thankfully, setting up your rear-view mirror is simple.

How to set up your car’s rear-view mirror

  • Sit in the correct driving position, ensuring that your seat and your body are exactly as they would be when you are driving.
  • Holding the mirror by its plastic edge, being careful not to smudge the glass, gently move the mirror until you have a clear view of the whole of the back window.
  • Don’t rush this process. Take your time to ensure that you can see out of the rear window of your car without moving your body.

Wing mirrors

Wing mirrors (also known as side mirrors) are often overlooked by drivers. Especially the passenger side. But they are important not only because they can help you to see what’s to either side of your vehicle. But what is in your blind spot.

Setting up your wing mirrors will vary according to the age of your car. In older models, this can be a manual process. And you’ll probably have to get out of your car and make several attempts to adjust the passenger side mirror until you can see clearly. In newer cars, your wing mirrors will usually have joystick or electric controls.

How to set up your car’s wing mirrors

  • Before adjusting your wing mirrors, it is again important to find the correct seating position.
  • Use the controls to change the position of each mirror.
  • For the driver’s side wing mirror, you need to change the angle so that you are able to see the road to the side and rear of your car. You will still need see a small part of your car’s body, but it should take up the smallest portion of the mirror. That done, you will need to change the angle of your mirror, so the horizon is in the centre.
  • When adjusting the passenger side mirror, the process is very similar. The only real variation is that you will want to angle the mirror slightly lower so that you can see the kerb when required.

How do you know if your mirrors are not properly adjusted?

If you cannot clearly see through your rear window or if your wing mirrors do not provide a clear view of the horizon, you know that they need adjusting.

What should you do if you notice your mirrors are in the wrong position on your driving test?

While you should always make a point of checking your mirror position at the start of your driving test, it’s not the end of the world if you get one of them slightly wrong. Explain to your instructor that you would like to adjust your mirrors and ask them if it is OK for you to pull over to do so. Never try to adjust your mirrors while driving. The distraction can be dangerous. Not only leading to a test fail, but potentially causing injury to you or others.

Having your mirrors in the right position is an integral part of driving. So, don’t rush. Take the time to ensure that each mirror is in a position that allows you to comfortably view it. Keeping yourself and others safe.

If you are looking for driving lessons in Birmingham, the Black Country, and surrounding areas, get in touch with DGN.

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Thomas Baugh

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