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Discussion Starter #1
I ran into a couple of other E owners in a coffee shop retreating from a downpour. We started talking and ended up sharing that we all had the experience of almost changing lanes into a car because of the blind spot on the driver's side. I already put a spot mirror on mine and it's much safer. One of the other E owners was going straight to the auto supply to get one. I think because what used to be called a pillar between the front and back windows is so large on the E it really is kinda dangerous. If you haven't put one on already please do.
 

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The convex mirrors DO help but did ya know that if you adjust your rear view and side mirrors correctly there IS no blind spot...even in the E. There are lots of sites with instructions on this but basically I'll give you the condensed version of what my Dad (who has now driven for 70 years without a single ticket or moving violation) taught me.
Left mirror should be adjusted so that from a normal driving position you CANNOT see the side of your car. If you lean your head left into the side glass you can see the side of your car.
Right mirror should be adjusted so you cannot see the side of your car when driving - if you lean your head to the right over the armrest you can THEN see the side of your car. You should have side mirrors high enough to see the pavement all the way up to the front window position - which should be visible in the bottom of the mirror when you are driving in a normal position (once you can glance to the side and SEE the vehicle without turning your head you no longer need to see it in the mirror). A good test is that a car behind you changing lanes to your left should be ALWAYS visible - 1st in your rear view mirror and then while changing lanes - while changing lanes, BEFORE the right fender of the other car disappears from your rear view mirror the left fender should be visible in your left side mirror. Once the lane change is complete almost the whole passing vehicle should be visible in your left side mirror. This works the same if the lane change is to the right except you see the right fender appear in the side mirror before the left disappears from your rear view. End result --- NO BLIND SPOT!
Most people do not have their mirrors adjusted correctly - if you can see the side of your vehicle in the side mirror while driving you have a blind spot. You need to see the road, not the side of your own car - you already know where YOUR car is. This WORKS! Try it and you will be amazed - and wonder how you EVER drove any other way.
 

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Tango,

You are so good at describing!
I had a dad like yours. He taught me "always try to anticipate the other driver because 10-1 they aren't paying attention." Defensive driving.

My pet driving peeve (might be subject for thread) is when one driver (left lane) stops to let another driver (facing in turn lane)turn in front of him/her and there is a right lane of traffic. Right lane driver, who has the right of way, does not know driver #1 is about to cross and appear in the right lane. People may think I am mean, but I NEVER stop to let someone cross in front of me it has caused too many wrecks.
Dale
 

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AuntDale said:
Tango,

You are so good at describing!
I had a dad like yours. He taught me "always try to anticipate the other driver because 10-1 they aren't paying attention." Defensive driving.

My pet driving peeve (might be subject for thread) is when one driver (left lane) stops to let another driver (facing in turn lane)turn in front of him/her and there is a right lane of traffic. Right lane driver, who has the right of way, does not know driver #1 is about to cross and appear in the right lane. People may think I am mean, but I NEVER stop to let someone cross in front of me it has caused too many wrecks.
Dale

I don't stop either, I have had too many close calls being the person in the right lane almost T-boning some idiot who isn't paying attention. Also, when I am the person making the left, if someone stops for me, I ignore them, I am not going through that intersection until I can see that the right lane is also wide open. They can sit there all day if they want to, but I am not about to blindly make a turn.
 

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tango said:
The convex mirrors DO help but did ya know that if you adjust your rear view and side mirrors correctly there IS no blind spot...even in the E.

Left mirror should be adjusted so that from a normal driving position you CANNOT see the side of your car.
How right you are! I'm amazed at the number of people who adjust their driver side mirrors to see straight back rather than into the blind spot.
 

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I don't have much of a problem with the driver's side B pillar. That may be because the seat is not that far back, so when I look over my left shoulder the pillar isn't in the way. Also I drove a kingcap pickup for years that had an even wider B pillar, so I've never had the expectation that I'd see anything behind the pillar.

paulj
 

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I agree!!! with the points raise by Tango and Aunt Dale. I'm a driver manager, and I also teach Defensive driving. Tango your description is 'spot' on, and I couldn't have said it better myself :grin:. A lot of people assume the side mirrors are for rear view, but they're not. They are SIDE view mirrors. Move them so you can see the sides. It also doesn't hurt to have a small spotting mirror as well, as they give a wider view that you can use as a point of reference.

As far as people who stop to let others turn in front of them, although this is a 'nice' thing to do, and seems to have become 'normal' for a lot of people to do, it's actually illegal. And I know for a fact, it's illegal in almost the entire world. It's called obstructing traffic. You cannot stop in the travelled portion of a multi lane roadway, to allow another person to turn. You cannot 'give' right of way. If someone coming up, in any lane, doesn't see the oncoming car, because you have stopped, then the car turning should be charged with making an improper turn, and failing to yield right of way. The car that stopped to let them in should be charged with pbstructing traffic. I know that almost every police force in North America will make those charges, if an accident occurs.
 

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Tim Vance said:
I agree!!! with the points raise by Tango and Aunt Dale. I'm a driver manager, and I also teach Defensive driving.
Thanks Tim, my Dad was a better teacher than any Drivers Ed. But I have a question - since you're a "pro" - why do they not teach this to people? It seems so important and yet 90% of the people I know have no idea how to set their mirrors correctly and were never taught or told how to do it right. I see people every day craning their heads around like an owl trying to see cars beside them (which is impossible) - the car might as well have NO mirrors. It's such a bad (and dangerous) habit to get into and so easily solved with a quick 5 minute course in adjusting side mirrors. When I show people how to do it they are AMAZED, literally, at the difference and that they don't even need to turn their head at all. These are people of all ages and no-one EVER showed them the correct way.
 

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We do teach it, Tango....But you have to remember that not every driving instructor has actually taken a defensive driving course. They take the driving instructors course, but not the DDC. Also, there is actually a fairly low retention factor to driving training. Most ppl only retain a portion of what is taught, and only for a short time. That's why accidents happen. If they don't use what they learned, until it becomes second nature, they lose it. That's one of the reasons professional drivers have to re-take their test on a regular basis. We also have driver meetings twice a year, and have mandatory DDC training every 3 years.
There's also a big comfort factor here. ppl line up the mirrors with the side of the car, because it gives them a stable point of reference, and it 'feels good'. You have to get used to the fact that your mirrors are pointing out into space. It's hard to train your brain to trust what it sees, automatically, without trying to analyze, and get a point of reference.
 

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Thanks alot tango, that is new thing to me as well. I normally would adjust both side mirror to at least see a little bit of the side of the car to be my reference of how far / how fast the car behind me.

I also found myself in trouble with driving side's blind spot as well. Then I adjust driving side mirror to what your described but not passenger side. I still do turn my head when changing lane thou, and as a lot know turning head method on E suck.
 

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bacchus1310 said:
I adjusted my mirrors today. Thanks Tango. :D
My friends who "changed" at my suggestion tell me that if you aren't used to driving with the mirrors like this it will take some "adjustment" time - it will seem strange not to see the side of your car anymore (I have always driven this way so I don't know how hard it is to adjust). BUT I do think once you get used to it you will be amazed at how much better you can see what is going on around you - without craning your neck. I don't know how people stand driving with their head turning all the time. This way a single glance in each mirror and you can evaluate everything on both sides and behind you. Has saved my butt more than once.
 

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I could already tell a difference when driving today. Never thought of doing that. And if i'm not mistaken, they never told me that in driving class either. Just to adjust your mirrors so you can see out of them. lol
 

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You see? This is what happens when ppl aren't trained. I really think DDC should be mandatory for everyone (don't get me started...:D)
Those of us who do it, don't even think about it, until someone mentions how strange it is....
I'm glad that this bit of knowledge has been passed on....
 

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I didn't learn it in Drivers Ed and no-one I have ever talked to did either.
And in that vein, I have a brief funny story -
My Dad is the one who taught me this "mirror adjustment" (and several other excellent defensive driving techniques) - he is 84 - he learned it post WWII as an Army general's driver in Germany. A few years ago I had a very smart a$$ man tell me that some well known driver/bodyguard to the stars invented this mirror positioning technique and was the 1st person to teach "defensive driving" to ordinary people (ie: not "secret agents"). He went on and on about all these "secrets" that you had to take special driving courses to learn about and have someone "teach" you just the right way to do it so it wasn't "dangerous".....blah blah blah. Every one of them was something my Dad learned about in WWII in the course of driving Army officers around in Germany and taught me at 16 - including what this guy called the "super secret of total driving awareness" ie: proper side mirror positioning.
I burst out in hysterical laughter - this guy paid $1000 to learn what a bunch of army nobodies driving Jeeps and staff cars were taught in 1946 - when side mirrors were a new and unique thing on cars BTW. The whole "bodyguard pro driving course" was standard defensive driving stuff with a few bells and whistles thrown in to make the dimwits taking the course feel "special". While the idea of ordinary people taking special classes to learn defensive driving was new at that time - the techniques weren't - nor were they "secret". I give the guy who sold these courses credit tho - marketing IS everything.
So, now you too know the "super secret technique of total driving awareness" - and it didn't cost you a penny.
You feel really special now don't you?
 

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Thats a great story Tango, and thanks for the tip! I'm gonna move my mirrors when I get out of work! :)
 

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bacchus1310 said:
I adjusted my mirrors today. Thanks Tango. :D
Ditto!!! Thanks Tango. What a difference. No more blind spot and it really is the only way to drive if you think about it. Side view mirrors. What a concept!:D
 

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I do a lot of backing and the adjustments recommended sound cumbersome. I drive with the seat all the way back so moving my head to the side does not have as much affect as it would if I sat forward more.
 

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mveach said:
I do a lot of backing and the adjustments recommended sound cumbersome. I drive with the seat all the way back so moving my head to the side does not have as much affect as it would if I sat forward more.
I'm going to try this "new" setting, but I grew up driving trucks and like mveach backing in it's a must to see your rear end. (That didn't sound right!)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Never thought my little post would spark such a good discussion. Adjusting the mirrors out to eliminate the blind spot sounds like a good idea. If you need to see down the side of the car to back up you can adjust the mirror in temporarily. I still relate partially from 25 years of driving an extended length Dodge van where the mirrors were only adjusted by getting out a wrench and undoing a nut. Having electric remote adjustable mirrors is like a luxury to me, as are many other things on my E. I will adjust the mirrors, and suggest that any other time the subject comes up.
 
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