How To Use Your Mirrors
When driving, you should check your mirrors in good time and before changing Direction, Speed and Signalling – (DSS)
Direction – Before moving to the right when driving, you should check your centre and right mirrors. This will allow you to decide if it is safe to move to the right.
Before moving to the left when driving, you should check your centre and left mirrors. This will allow you to decide if it is safe to move to the left.
Remember your centre mirror will give accurate information of the distance and speed of vehicles behind. The side mirrors give you an extended view to the side of the vehicle. For example, you are driving on a road. There is a parked car you need to go around. You should check your centre and right mirror and then move to the right to pass it, providing it is safe to do so. You should then check your centre and left mirror and then move back to the left into your normal driving position, providing it is safe to do so.
Speed – Before slowing down you should check your centre mirror in good time. This will inform you of the distance and speed of the vehicles behind and allow you to decide how much brake pressure should be applied. For example, you are driving and need to apply your footbrake as there is traffic stopped ahead. You check the centre mirror and see the vehicle behind is very close. You may decide to use your foot brake earlier and lighter. This will activate your brake lights and allow the vehicle behind to react to this and keep well back.
Before accelerating you should check your centre and right mirrors. The information you will get from checking these mirrors will allow you to decide whether it is safe to accelerate. For example, you are driving in a 30mph zone. You see a 40mph sign ahead. Before reaching the 40mph sign you should check your centre and right mirrors to establish if it safe to accelerate to 40mph when you enter that speed limit zone. It may be there is a car following closely behind and the positioning is such that it is just about to overtake you. You may decide not to accelerate until the car behind has passed you. The consequences could have been very serious had you not checked your mirrors and accelerated at the same time you were being overtaken.
Signalling – Before signalling right you should check your centre and right mirrors.
Before signalling left you should check your centre and left mirrors.
You would check these mirrors, as it would give you relevant information to allow you to time your signal correctly and in good time. If you do not check your mirrors and time your signal by only looking ahead you may give a confusing or badly timed signal. For example, you wish to pull in on the left. You look ahead. There are no other road users around. You do not give a signal to pull in and find a suitable place to pull in on the left. Had you checked your mirrors you would have seen a car very close behind. A well-timed signal would have allowed that car to react to it and keep a safe distance. Instead it had to brake very harshly to avoid a collision.
1.D – DIRECTION: Before moving to the right check your centre and right mirrors. Before moving to the left check your centre and left mirrors.
2.S – SIGNALLING: Before signalling right check your centre and right mirrors. Before signalling left check your centre and left mirrors.
3.S – SPEED: Before accelerating check your centre and right mirrors. Before slowing down check your centre mirror.