Driving for an extended period of time, it can be easy to become complacent with the job. It is in those moments of complacency that basics of the job are forgotten and mistakes are made. One of the basics that can become hazardously underutilized is a truck’s mirrors. Here are some tips to using your mirrors:
Having your mirrors properly adjusted can not only help to improve reaction time but can dramatically reduce blind spots. Checking mirrors for proper placement and looking for potential damage should become an intrinsic part of every driver’s pre-trip inspection. Here are some tips to be sure your mirrors are properly adjusted:
- Start out by sitting in the driver’s seat, being sure the seat is adjusted to the position you will be driving in and that your seat belt is fastened.
- Convex mirrors: Adjust horizontally so that the side of your truck is barely visible and then adjust vertically so the horizon is just out of view.
- Flat mirrors: Adjust horizontally so that the rear of the truck’s rear back corner is barely visible and then adjust vertically so that the ground takes up a majority of the view while the horizon takes up the rest of the view.
- Remember to move your head slightly around to get a full view of the adjustments and see potential blind spots better.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to talk with your company’s safety director to help you fully understand the rig you will be driving and all the functionalities available are used to their maximum potential.
Know Your Surrounding
A major key in roadway safety is knowing what is going on around you at all times. Your mirrors help you to keep tabs on your surroundings so that you know what is coming up around you.
Check the Load
Your mirrors not only help you to keep tabs on your surroundings but they help you to keep an eye on your load. Mirrors are especially helpful when hauling a flatbed that has a load tarped, strapped and chained down; you’re able to easily check that everything is where it’s supposed to be.
Your Reversing BFF
While reversing a big rig, there is nothing more important than your mirrors — they are every driver’s BFF. As mentioned in a previous blog, prior to backing up, be sure your mirrors are clean and you make proper adjustments to give you as much visibility as possible. Mirrors help to give you insight on what corrections need to be made to help guide you into place.
Keep ‘Em Clean
A dirty mirror can distort your view. As mentioned earlier, it should be a part of every driver’s pre-trip inspection to check for cleanliness and damage. Clean mirrors in solid condition help to give clear visibility and reduce poor reaction time.
Never underestimate the usefulness of your rig’s mirrors. They are a great tool to keeping you safe.