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How to find the blind spots for your vehicle

As we gain experience behind the wheel, it is natural to have a great deal of faith in our ability to drive safely. It is true that practice is a great teacher, but confidence is not an excuse to develop bad habits, such as not looking around enough to make sure it is safe to change lanes.

We all hear about blind spots when learning to drive a car, but for those who have not heard the term in a while, here is a little refresher, as well as a reminder why it is vital to check your blind spots before a lane change, to reduce the risk of a car accident.

Simply put, a vehicle’s blind spots are the areas next to and behind it that the driver cannot see while looking forward. Mirrors are a big help, but all cars have at least two blind spots, according to State Farm.

A simple test can prove the point. While sitting in your parked car, have a friend stand at one of the rear corners of the vehicle. Get the friend to walk away from the car, perpendicular to the direction the car is facing, until you cannot see him or her in the side mirror with a quick glance.

The friend should then turn so that he or she is facing the same direction as the car. Have him or her begin walking in that direction, and tell him or her to stop as soon as you can see him or her in your peripheral vision.

The area in which you could not see your friend is your vehicle’s blind spot on that side. This shows why you cannot rely on your side and rear view mirrors alone when getting ready to turn or change lanes. Looking over your shoulder is a necessary step, to avoid possibly hitting a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian.

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