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Do you often check your mirrors when driving? If not, then it means you are not keeping yourself fully aware of your surroundings while driving. You could miss a developing hazard and even be involved in a surprise accident. Glancing every five seconds or so at your car mirrors is crucial as it will really give you a good mental map of what is going on around you while you are driving.

From moments when there is a car about to hit you from the rear or an item falling off of a truck, mirror checking keeps you aware and prepared. You’ll also be aware of vehicles that were there but now mysteriously aren’t. Other than this, there are other numerous reasons as to why you should always check your mirrors when driving.

Reasons to Check Your Mirrors When Driving

1. To check whether your actions are going to affect other road users

check your mirrors when driving


The truth is that by checking the mirrors, you will be able to see whether the actions you take while driving are going to affect other road users. For instance, if you often check your mirrors, you will be able to identify whether the other driver is not in a space you intend on taking or that the other driver is not intending to occupy a space you intend on taking.

2. To reduce the chances of a collision by spotting potential hazards

The goal of any driver is to arrive at their final destination safe and sound, which is equivalent to saying to avoid having an accident. One of the best ways to avoid that is by frequently checking your mirrors, as it will allow you to spot potential hazards, such as pedestrians or cars next to your car, thus, preventing accidental collisions during lane changes and turns.

Remember that there are many accidents happening on public roads and highways because some drivers do not put much importance on the use of car mirrors. Ensure you check your mirrors when driving, as it can help you avoid any accidents while driving.

3. To create a car safety bubble around you

when to check your mirrors driving test


Checking your car mirrors frequently and acting according to what you see will enable you to create a car safety bubble around us effectively. 

For instance, consider a situation where you are caught up by those drivers who like driving too close to other drivers, thus, entering your safety bubble and potentially creating a hazard. 

Though you cannot do anything about how close they are to your car, you can reduce the potential of collision after noticing such drivers through your mirrors by increasing your following distance to the car in front of you.

4. To keep up with the traffic

As you drive, you can use your car mirrors to ensure you are keeping up with the traffic and to also note changes in the flow of  traffic around you. 

In this case, you can visualize the movement of cars and make predictions about how they will move in the future to ensure you are moving at a safe speed and have sufficient time and space to react to unexpected moves made by aggressive drivers.

5. To properly reverse your car

With your car mirrors, you can reverse your car properly and parallel park. The mirrors will help you gauge the space between your car and the vehicles you are parking between. 

So, don’t wait until you feel a bump to stop. Just use your car mirrors and compare the position of your ride’s bumper to the position of the bumper on the car beside you, stopping when they are about even.

6. To keep track of events happening behind a larger vehicle stopped behind you

Since it may be difficult to see through larger vehicles that are stopped behind you to know what is approaching from behind them, you could be involved with the most commonly reported collision in North America. 

However, by just creeping forward and drifting to either side of your lane, you will be able to see through using your side mirrors. As a result, you will be able to keep track of events happening behind the large vehicles, hence getting out of the way of a multiple-vehicle collision.

7. To drive safely during certain inclement weather

check your mirrors while driving


Winter weather can severely complicate driving. This implies that it will be less safe to drive during certain inclement weather and that directly translates to taking a maximum amount of caution when you are driving in poor road conditions. This will necessitate the frequent and proper use of your car mirrors.

The mirrors will help you see the rear and sides of the car with just a glance in a rainy or even a snowy weather condition. So, do not make it any worse on yourself when driving in such weather by ignoring to keep an eye on your car mirrors.

8. To pass your driving test

Yeap, that is right. It is essential to note that the driving test examiner will expect to see you use the car mirrors as a matter of course, not just when approaching a hazard or undertaking a driving test maneuver. 

Therefore, get into the habit of often glancing in your car mirrors, as you will score low each time you ignore or use the mirrors incorrectly.

Final Thoughts

According to the above reasons, keeping your eyes often on your car mirrors isn’t just a good guideline, but it is a crucial part of road safety. If you do not disregard it, you can always be safe while driving. In fact, almost 90 percent of the decisions we make while driving are based on what we observe through our car mirrors.

However, remember that your primary focus is the road ahead of you, so a quick glance of five seconds on the mirrors should be sufficient, not more. For more safety driving techniques, check out our driving lessons.