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girl adjusting rear mirrorImagine you're driving along and find you need to change lanes. You check your mirrors, turn on your blinker and start to stray over to the next lane, only to be met with a blaring horn. It's happened to almost all drivers, and this experience not only gets your heart pumping, but is a great reminder that blind spots are something to take seriously. Whether you're the car changing lanes or the one in the blind spot, this situation is a common cause of accidents, so it's wise to brush up on skills to check blind spots.

What is a blind spot? For every vehicle, there's a small area behind the front doors that extends towards the back of the car that the driver cannot see, even with the use of mirrors. With the help of another person, you can sit in your vehicle and have them move around outside the car to get an idea of how big your blind spot is. Usually the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot.

So what can a person do to avoid an incident as a result of a blind spot? It starts with the use of mirrors. Many people never adjust their mirrors as long as they're somewhat useful, but these can be essential in helping you see what is around you, so it makes sense to take a minute to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit from them. Side mirrors should be adjusted so you can just barely see the side of the car, and then move your rear view mirror until you get the best view of what is behind you.

The next step is making sure you do a shoulder check every time you need to change lanes. Simply move your head to the left or right, (depending on which way you're moving) until you can see whether the lane is clear. It takes less than a second, as you really just need to let your peripheral vision do the work of making sure it is safe to move into the lane.

Car manufacturers are always making vehicles safer and some of them are now equipped with blind spot monitors, but until they are more prevalent, it's always a good idea to keep these tips in mind to avoid an incident.

Stay safe on the road. Call Pan American Insurance at (915) 562-0009 for more information on El Paso auto insurance.

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