Side mirror - Photo by Daniel Korzeniewski

When using your mirrors there is an area on each side of your vehicle where you cannot see people or other vehicles. These areas are known as blind spots.

To see people or cars in your blind spots you need to turn your head and look over your shoulder. With the mirrors adjusted properly, a check over your shoulder should be brief, meaning you should not have to turn your head so far.

New higher-end car models come with radar or camera systems capable of detecting other vehicles in your blind spots. They do not replace the good driving habit of checking over your shoulder. At least, not yet.

Some people will also tell you, that properly adjusted mirrors will eliminate blind spots. This is generally not true and thinking you do not need to check your blind spot might be a dangerous assumption.

Some cars have bigger blind spots than others. In general, it is fair to say that the bigger your car, the bigger your blind spots. Your size and position also matters. Every time you move your seat, your blind spots will also change. The farther back your seat, the larger the blind spots.

Being able to see out and around a vehicle from the driver’s seat directly impact your safety and the safety of those around you.

Consumer Reports test different car models on visibility. The scores are a composite of how well drivers of different sizes can see forward, to the rear, to the sides, and while using inside and outside mirrors.

The cars with best visibility this year include: Inifinity G (sedan), Subaru Outback, Nissan Altima, and Suzuki SX4 (sedan).

The cars with the worst visibility include: Mini Cooper S (convertible), Nissan Z, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Fisker Karma, Porsche Boxter, and Chevrolet Camaro.

Source: Consumer Reports