Checking your blind spot

Author
Discussion

TobyLaRohne

Original Poster:

5,386 posts

141 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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Hey everyone, I was wondering if you could clarify something for me, I had discussion with a friend last night in a bar (who has apparently done a defensive driving course) who said his wife did the seemingly extremely dangerous thing of turning her head to check her blind spot before changing lane etc..apparently you should never take your eye off straight ahead even for a split second. I checked the highway code which says to check your blind spots by turning your head. He said because he was a defensive driver trained guy you're taught to check your blind spot with your mirrors... what does the IAM say about checking blind spots? I always thought you should place your mirrors well to allow for the best visability and still check your blindspot by physically looking.

_Neal_

1,789 posts

154 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
quotequote all
TobyLaRohne said:
Hey everyone, I was wondering if you could clarify something for me, I had discussion with a friend last night in a bar (who has apparently done a defensive driving course) who said his wife did the seemingly extremely dangerous thing of turning her head to check her blind spot before changing lane etc..apparently you should never take your eye off straight ahead even for a split second. I checked the highway code which says to check your blind spots by turning your head. He said because he was a defensive driver trained guy you're taught to check your blind spot with your mirrors... what does the IAM say about checking blind spots? I always thought you should place your mirrors well to allow for the best visability and still check your blindspot by physically looking.
You're right, and the defensive driving guy is talking utter nonsense. The reason it's called a "blind spot" is because you can't check it with your mirrors!

I always do shoulder checks (turning my head) before changing lane - it's not dangerous providing you've done your forward observations first.

TobyLaRohne

Original Poster:

5,386 posts

141 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
quotequote all
It wasn't a case of proving him wrong, I just wanted to know if I was doing something I shouldn't be. I always check my blind spot by turning my head, infact it actually scares me when I'm a passenger and the driver only makes a quick glance in the mirror before changing lane.

7db

6,058 posts

165 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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If one finds oneself driving in a manner that requires constant observation of the nearground for things to react to, then the issue isn't what's lurking in the blindspot. With decent long-range observation anticipation and creation of time, you should always have time to allow your gaze to explore and linger on issues outside of the narrow focus.

Quite simply good advanced driving gives you more ogling time.

7db

6,058 posts

165 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
quotequote all
In fairness, your friend probably knew this, but didn't want his wife to catch on that he was driving in a way to check out the passing scenery.
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TobyLaRohne

Original Poster:

5,386 posts

141 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
quotequote all
7db said:
Quite simply good advanced driving gives you more ogling time.
So in effect, a better advanced driver will create a situation/space where a more thorough check of the blindspot can be made?...seems reasonable

Upatdawn

2,071 posts

83 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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an observant driver would have seen that vehicle in lane 2 in his door and rearview mirror before it crept alongside him/her, too many ONLY look forward without checking mirrors when on motorways, once youve driven a truck (with numpties attempting hari-kiri up any side) it gets ingrained - keep looking in mirrors.....

Hugo a Gogo

22,239 posts

168 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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yep, you should always have an idea of who's approaching behind you

gowmonster

2,425 posts

102 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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on my way to work today I saw a new driver, with L plates, check their blind spot and promptly jerked the steering and swerve.

I tend to look in my mirrors well in advance, and generally if you check every few moments you'll know if a car is entering your blind spot.

I also find that I lean forward and to the left, I can retain control and change the angle so i can see the 'blind' spot.

_Neal_

1,789 posts

154 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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Of course you should always check your mirrors and see anything creeping up on you, but I see a blind spot check as a final confirmation that someone hasn't done anything you didn't happen to spot - fast moving motorbike, perhaps. It takes no time and improves safety, so I'm not happy with any argument that says "you don't need to check your blind spot because you should already know if something's there".

Shoulder checks are also ingrained when you ride a motorbike (as your blind spots are far larger).

Upatdawn

2,071 posts

83 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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is the american highway method the same - where all lanes do 55mph...

fewer accidents by lane changing i wonder?

George7

1,065 posts

85 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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TobyLaRohne said:
He said because he was a defensive driver trained guy you're taught to check your blind spot with your mirrors....
What a load of crap. There's a reason they're called blind spots.

Alex

9,494 posts

219 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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Life-saver.

ohtari

805 posts

79 months

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
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Upatdawn said:
is the american highway method the same - where all lanes do 55mph...

fewer accidents by lane changing i wonder?
Ha!

No chance, the interstates are accident magnets. Too many miles at too low a speed. People zone out, become engrossed in something else, watch tv or read books (I'm not kidding). And hence many accidents occur.

At a lower speed, true. So they're less severe. Typical America really, quantity over quality.

I always do a blind spot check, and it scares me stless when I'm a passenger of someone who starts moving, indicates and casually looks in the mirror at the same time. These same people tend to be the "good" drivers as well, and above any constructive criticism.

Observer2

722 posts

160 months

Thursday 23rd August 2012
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7db said:
In fairness, your friend probably knew this, but didn't want his wife to catch on that he was driving in a way to check out the passing eye candy.
Fixed that for you.

chilistrucker

4,287 posts

86 months

Thursday 23rd August 2012
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_Neal_ said:
TobyLaRohne said:
Hey everyone, I was wondering if you could clarify something for me, I had discussion with a friend last night in a bar (who has apparently done a defensive driving course) who said his wife did the seemingly extremely dangerous thing of turning her head to check her blind spot before changing lane etc..apparently you should never take your eye off straight ahead even for a split second. I checked the highway code which says to check your blind spots by turning your head. He said because he was a defensive driver trained guy you're taught to check your blind spot with your mirrors... what does the IAM say about checking blind spots? I always thought you should place your mirrors well to allow for the best visability and still check your blindspot by physically looking.
You're right, and the defensive driving guy is talking utter nonsense. The reason it's called a "blind spot" is because you can't check it with your mirrors!

I always do shoulder checks (turning my head) before changing lane - it's not dangerous providing you've done your forward observations first.
agreed.
i always do this in the wagon when joining motorways or similar.
even though the current wagon i drive has 6 mirrors, i still like the glance over my shoulder.
its all about forward planning to keep everything smooth and flowing in my opinion.
sadly, as we all see on a daily basis,its amazing how many people lack this on the road today.

iamAlegend

141 posts

76 months

Thursday 23rd August 2012
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He's talking absolute rubbish, you should always check your blind spots before moving off and changing lanes!

It saved me not long ago, I was checking mirrors and 'knew' there was no-one there, so indicated, started moving, then checked blind spot.....but because I wasn't 'jerking' the wheel, The guy never reacted because i hadn't left my lane.

could have been bad if hadn't checked my blind spot.

jimmy the hat

419 posts

82 months

Thursday 23rd August 2012
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I had this very conversation with my brother the other day. He claims to be "always looking in his mirrors" to the extent that he "knows" what's around him. He's driven a lot of miles in commercial vehicles where checking a blind spot isn't quite as easy as turning your head.

My retort was that, no matter how often, looking in his mirrors meant he only knew what was where he looked when he looked. The only way to know what is or isn't in his blind spot is to look there. It's not quite Schroedinger's blindspot but we enjoyed the reference. I've driven a lot of miles in a car that only has a tiny mirror in the middle of the windscreen.

Having a good appreciation of what's going on around you is (should be) a minimum requirement but I'm not sure it's a substitute for absolute certainty.

Cheers, Jim

KimZ

225 posts

149 months

Saturday 25th August 2012
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As an ex-biker, always without fail look over shoulder... May indeed save a life one day.

shoutBlind spots are just that; chap who said he can check them using his mirrors is a danger to himself and others.

StuartGGray

7,520 posts

163 months

Sunday 26th August 2012
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Ever since I started riding bikes on the road, and then cars, I've used a lifesaver before changing direction.