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Learner driver guide to blind spots

What is a blind spot? How do I check blind spots? Your blind spot questions answered in Book Theory Test Today’s learner driver guide to blind spots…

What are blind spots?

Blind spots are the unseen areas of the road uncaptured by your mirrors or obscurities caused by the structure of your car. An example of a blind spot caused by your car’s structure would be the front windscreen pillars. These pillars can obscure your frontal view of the road and could prevent you from seeing a motorcyclist at a junction, a pedestrian on a zebra crossing or even a traffic light turning red.

Giving yourself the best view possible 

Every time you get into the car for a driving lesson, and when you come to take your DVSA practical test, make sure that the driving seat is adjusted to a setting that gives you a clear view out of the windscreen and the rear window. Most driving seats can go higher and move backwards and forwards allowing you to find the optimum setting for you.

How do I check my blind spots?

The only way to check for blind spots is a quick glance over your shoulder, either left or right, depending on your situation. More often than not, the most common reasons for checking blind spots include moving off and when overtaking another vehicle on a dual carriageway or motorway or when passing parked vehicles. Isn’t looking over my shoulder dangerous? For prolonged periods, yes. You should only need a glance to see if there’s anything approaching on your left or right side. If you’re moving, we don’t recommend having your head turned for long periods. While it’s crucial to check your blind spots, doing it for too long distracts you from what’s happening ahead. It’s worth noting that a frequent cause of driving test failure is forgetting to check blind spots. Simply taking the time to have a quick glance over your shoulder prevents you from killing a cyclist, a motorcyclist or yourself. You’d be amazed how many drivers have been involved in accidents with vehicles such as trucks or buses because they ‘didn’t see them coming.’ If something the size of a truck or bus can be out of sight, checking blind spots becomes all the more crucial, so get into the habit of looking over your shoulder from the moment you get into a car.

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