When it comes to driving, competency behind the wheel is necessary but there's more to safe commuting than just driving. We think that your ability to see out and around the vehicle, to anticipate what's ahead and happening around you is just as vital. Car's with stickers and soft toys littered all over the dashboard, front and rear windscreens are not an uncommon sight on our Malaysian roads and the dangers of it are often only noticed seconds before an accident happens.
We think more people need to be aware of the huge consequences of the little discrepancies our vehicles can pose. So here are 7 simple steps you can take to ensure that your visibility from behind the wheel, and of what's ahead and around the vehicle, is as clear as it can possibly be.
Clean & Angle Those Headlamps Appropriately.
You see this in a lot of older cars – headlamps looking dull and cloudy. This affects the light your headlamps are able to project and in turn on your ability to see further ahead. Scrubbing them with a cloth and some toothpaste is a quick fix that most would recommend. It would also be practical for those who own vehicles with height adjustable headlamps to ensure that they angle them appropriately so that the beam gets projected as far as possible.
Panoramic Rear View Mirrors
You know what we’re talking about! We’re quite sure you know at least a friend or an auntie or uncle that has that accessory, which doesn’t cost more than RM50 for a decent one, clipped onto their rear-view mirror.
Notice how much larger, the panoramic rear view mirror is able to reflect the sides of the vehicle?
And it actually makes a whole of difference! As it offers a wider range of view, you’re able to minimise your blind spots as the mirror extends further sideways than the original mirrors.
Make Sure Your Front And Rear Windscreens Are Clean And Clear.
How many of us still wash our own cars? As it turns out, within our premises alone, 9 out of 10 of our colleagues don’t. You should at least pay attention to the windscreens though, both front and back. You don't need experts to tell you why clean and clear windscreens are important for your visibility.
Adjust Your Side Mirrors.
Most of us are used to seeing the flanks of our own vehicles in the side mirror. However, sources have advocated adjusting the mirrors so far outward that the viewing angle of side mirrors just overlaps the reflection of the rear view mirror. It is said that one should adjust the driver's side mirror by resting their head against the driver's side window and adjusting the mirror so that they can just see the sides of their car.
Once that's done, move to the center of the vehicle and turn the passenger side mirror so that one can just see the side of one's car from the center of the vehicle. This arrangement is suppose to negate a car's blind spot, thus eliminating the need to glance over your shoulder to safely change lanes. Although, we always recommend double checking first before changing lanes, just to be safe.
Keep A Distance From The Car In Front
We all are guilty of this; like WE ALL. Inconsiderate drivers are aplenty and will never seize to exist; but that doesn’t mean we should tailgate so closely to the car in front. What if they decided to slam on the brakes?
If you were further away from the vehicle in front, wouldn't you think that you would've had enough time to avoid that projectile? Credit: pakwheels.com
Keep a car length, better yet two car lengths for good measure so that you can safely gauge and anticipate any mishaps that might occur up ahead.
Keep That Dashboard Clear Of Obstructions.
Perfume bottles, tissue boxes, air fresheners hanging from the rear view mirror, excessive “Recaro” stickers and those leafy things that never stop swaying, take them all away from the dashboard. Not only can they obstruct your view of what’s ahead, the movements can distract your attention behind the wheel too.
Wear Some Glasses!
Don't be in denial people, get those eyes checked and put those glasses on!
We are almost certain that a small minority of our readers can relate to this. You may think the slight imperfection in your vision is no cause for concern and that there's no necessity to opt for a pair of glasses. But with that, you're at risk of endangering yourself, your passengers and other motorists. Having a defined vision to anticipate what might happen ahead of you can prove to be a worthy tool behind the wheel, apart from the competency to drive. For those who have experienced overwhelming glares when facing oncoming vehicles at night should also get their eyes checked for astigmatism.
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