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Old 06-17-2010, 03:32 PM   #1
internationalballer
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Default Checking blind spots by looking over your shoulder

When you are in a car or on a bike, do you look over your shoulder to check blind spots. I do in my vehicle as well as on my bike. Just curious what others do. Why do you do what you do?
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:06 PM   #2
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When changing lanes I'll do a head check real quick most of the time, out of habit I think, just from years of driving a cage and having impounded in your head to do so. But, if you have your mirrors the right way you should be able to see everything between the rear view mirror and your side mirror. And like King said, think it was him, if you move your head over a bit you can see more in the bike mirror and not have to turn around.
In the cage, I'm not sure about huge vans or suv, when a car is behind you, you can see in the rear view mirror. When they go to pass you, you should be able to see in your side mirror. When you cannot see in your side mirror, you should be able to see them on side of you if you turn your head a bit.
In your side mirrors you should see just the tail end of your vehicle, not the whole side or even most of it. Hope it makes sense.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:09 PM   #3
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Just a thought, when you look over your shoulder you can’t see what is in front of you. I put small two inch spot mirror and each of my mirrors and they give me a very clear picture of what is along side of me. Got the idea from the trucking industry.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:21 PM   #4
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I keep my mirrors turned so that, when on a multi-lane road, the lines are at the inside of the mirrors, which are slightly convex. That way, anything passing can be seen at the outside of the mirror and in a side-glance at the same time. If I need to see directly behind, I just have to move my head a bit. That doesn't keep me from turning to look out of habit.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:30 PM   #5
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I would rather be safe than sorry....especially on those lanes that end by merging...it never fails that some "body" comes racing by everyone else and then cuts over....those are the ones that could be missed by a mirror...

Today I had someone ride in my blindspot for several minutes and I just had to slow up and let them go by so they would not remain there...I only noticed him because I turned my head slightly and get a side glance...

Guess it is like the helmets...in the Rider's Edge they show you how to turn and glance back....especially since we don't have mirrors on the training bikes...and they make you wear helmets...once you are out on the road it is up to you to decide what you want to do....
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:36 PM   #6
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I do it most of the time, but I do my best to maintain situational awareness such that I will know ahead of time whether there is a car there or not based on keeping track of cars that I have approached or that have approached me from the rear. I don't remember the last time I was surprised by a vehicle that I wasn't aware of. Regardless, the idea is to prevent "accidents" so it is still worth it to actually check and make certain.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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Unfortunately it's necessary with a FF if you want to maintain any visbility of what's behind you in your own lane.

I want 6" mirrors, haven't been able to find any.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine View Post
Just a thought, when you look over your shoulder you can’t see what is in front of you. I put small two inch spot mirror and each of my mirrors and they give me a very clear picture of what is along side of me. Got the idea from the trucking industry.
How close are you following? In MSF I was taught to Look over my shoulder be for changing lanes. They are called blind spots for a reason.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:46 PM   #9
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I need to practice this on my bike, I have only logged 40 miles on it so far; but I drive one of the largest SUVs on the road and I ALWAYS check my blind spots. There seems to be a large concentration of idiots in my area, so I have to be forever vigilant. I've had many people try to come into my lane - while I was still IN it. Sorry dude, I think my big boss SUV is going to win a battle against your ridiculously small Honda Fit (or Toyota Prius, or Smarte Car, whatever the idiot of the moment happens to be driving). LOL

Adding that I had spot mirrors on both sides of my minivan and I loved them. They really helped a lot. I still looked over my shoulder though, call it paranoia, call it how I was trained as a teenager, I will probably forever do it. I have to pick some spot mirrors up for the trucks - been meaning to do that for a year now. Guess I'm headed over to Advance Auto tomorrow! LOL
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine View Post
Just a thought, when you look over your shoulder you can’t see what is in front of you. I put small two inch spot mirror and each of my mirrors and they give me a very clear picture of what is along side of me. Got the idea from the trucking industry.

you could also put a mirror behind you, facing forward so you can see in front of you when you are looking over your shoulder.

iput some mirroe extenders on mine and theyre great.
i can see past my shoulders now without having to hang off the seat.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:39 PM   #11
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I always do a quick head check. Bikes have blind spots, too.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:07 PM   #12
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Turning your head also serves to warn other drivers of your intentions....clearing your turns.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:29 PM   #13
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I always turn my head, in car truck or bike. Absolutely. Also, I never let anybody drive in my blind spot, nor me in theirs.
But I always watch all around, so I know who is around me. And I watch places that cars can pull out, or turn, etc.
But I never follow so close so that while I am turning my head, if the car in front of me stops, I hit it.
I also use my head to nod into a lane if I am going over, and can't get my turn signal on.
If I can tell a driver is giving me room or anticipating that I will cut a lane, I turn my head over and nod to indicate my lane change.
That way I can still watch what is going on in front of me.
But be careful. Another guy on another forum just had a bad crash. He turned his head to look for a lane change and the car in front jammed on the brakes. As he looked back, boom!
Not a fun scenario.
So remember, don't follow close at all.
Herrmosa Beach. Motor Cop hits the siren. Idiot in a BMW convertible, who has been driving for 41 years, jumps 100% onto the brakes. Motor cop whacks him and falls into the back seat (top down). Injuries.
Even tho' these idiots have been driving cars for many years, a usual reaction they have to any hazard in the road is ... stomp hard on the brakes. You do not want to be behind them.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:53 AM   #14
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You young guys won't know this but when I was a teenager cars came equiped with only one outside mirror (even Feraris). On some of the more expensive cars you could order an additional one but most didn't even have them as an option. Motorcycles were the same, one mirror only. I believe this is why teaching about blind spots and looking over your shoulder still persists even today. Properly adjusted mirrors on a car will cover all areas behind the vehicle. I admit motorcycles have other issues such as your arms and shoulders which may block some of your view. These issues can be easily overcome by proper lane positioning. Ride closer to the dividing line so that you don't encourage cars to croud your space, your left mirror now covers the left lane, and the right mirror has an unobstructed view of the lane you are traveling in. There may still be a small blind spot directly behind you but a car would have to be straddling the dividing line to be in it and would still be visible to the sides. It may still be necessary to tilt your head slightly left or right but this can be done much more quickly than turning your head to the back and taking your eyes completely off the road ahead.

The next time you have the chance, ask a state trooper for statistics on how many people reported taking their eyes off the road only for a second before hitting the vehicle in front of them.

Note: Obviously this only concerns driving or riding in traffic. If no other vihicles are within miles of your position stand on the seat facing backwards while riding for all I care. Still a stupid idea in my opinion but has little or nothing to do with the use of mirrors as does riding on a country road completely alone. And yes still check the mirrors even when you think you are alone in case some car does appear behind. Figured I better add that for the buttholes who don't get the completely alone part.

What ever you decide is best for you, ride safe and stay vigilant.

Last edited by Kingshead; 06-18-2010 at 05:16 AM..
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:31 AM   #15
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I agree with the above poster on the lane position. If I'm in position 1 (left side) I'll have a better view of what's back and to the right.

My problem is that I have broad shoulders and it's difficult for me to see behind me via my mirrors without leaning my upper body to the side. Not very safe when riding +50mph. One of only a few issues I have with my Kawasaki 500.
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingshead View Post
only one outside mirror order easily proper lane positioning don't encourage cars to croud your space, small slightly much more quickly taking your eyes completely off the road ahead taking their eyes off the road only for a second Obviously this only concerns driving or riding in traffic completely alone. completely alone
What Key can I use to decypher this?

I do it cause it takes a split second and eases my mind.
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:43 AM   #17
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Kingshead. I remember the old one mirror days. More accidents and fatalities then.
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:54 AM   #18
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I check my mirrors and then I glance over my shoulders. I don't turn my head very far, just enough to glance.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:56 PM   #19
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just a thought - if you go faster than everyone else on the road you should never need to look behind you....

apart from keeping an eye out for blue lights....
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benny hedges View Post
just a thought - if you go faster than everyone else on the road you should never need to look behind you....

apart from keeping an eye out for blue lights....
Thats the best idea yet. Keep speeds at 120 ish mph and you could just get rid of the mirrors. Good call Benny!!
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David 1 View Post
Kingshead. I remember the old one mirror days. More accidents and fatalities then.
dc
Yeah, I sometimes wonder how much the addition of a second mirror on all vehicles has skewed the reported number of lives saved by seatbelt usage.

The highlighted (bold print) in my previous post is for the posters who seem to ignore certain points of a posting as they refute their own inane viewpoints.

Last edited by Kingshead; 06-18-2010 at 06:01 PM..
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:53 PM   #22
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I started in late 70's usings barend mirriors. no blind spots
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:03 PM   #23
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in my truck, nah...

on my bike, oh yeah, sometimes I even turn torso around and look behind me for speeders coming from the rear. I also stand on the pegs and look above the cars too.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:27 PM   #24
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I always check blind spots in the car, especially in the area I live in where most highways have 3 or 4 lanes of traffic in each direction and enough traffic to fill all of them.

As for the bike, I do a lot of road cycling, which don't have ANY mirrors, so it's just habit now. You don't check over your shoulder when your're riding and you can easily get hit by a car.

I learned a pretty good technique for checking your blind spot without changing course. Most times when you turn your head, your shoulders and hands follow (which is why they tell you in basic rider courses to move your head to look where you're turning). That could be pretty bad if you turn your head all the way to the side to check a blind spot and before you know it you're in a different lane (or the car occupying that lane). So the technique is to put your chin over and down to the shoulder on the side you're looking towards as you look behind. It gives you a good field of view and won't mess up your course. Something your really come to appreciate on a road bike where you can negotiate most turns with less than an inch of movement on the handlebars
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:43 PM   #25
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I try to always look over my shoulder.
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavero View Post
As for the bike, I do a lot of road cycling, which don't have ANY mirrors, so it's just habit now. You don't check over your shoulder when your're riding and you can easily get hit by a car.
You are correct if stating they don't usually come with mirrors as standard equipment (some do). As an avid cyclist for many decades clocking well over 100,000 miles (yes I meant one hundred thousand) I can attest the circumstances are quite different. I have crossed state lines on journeys of 1,200 miles and more, alone, and never had an incident involving another vehicle.

1) On a bicycle you are not riding in traffic on the highway.
2) A smart rider will be in the traffic lane at intersections but otherwise will be to the extreme right or in a bike lane if provided. This means cars will only be to the left side, never on the right.
3) The speeds are much slower so distance traveled while looking back is much less.
4) A truly smart rider realizes mirrors are available for bicycles, purchases them and learns to use them as intended.

Note: Figured I better add this as some posters like to nit pick. Yes I realize going down hill we, I, have attained speeds of 70mph and more, but these are special circumstances and at these times I'm usually only concerned with the vehicles I'm passing while breaking the speed limit. And yes, even on a level surface I've axceeded 40mph but only for short bursts so this doesn't apply as a general rule. Please refer to Item #4 if you still don't get the point.

Last edited by Kingshead; 06-19-2010 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:05 PM   #27
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I always look, I remember I had a close call when I was 18 in the car on the highway almost hit a car that was in my blind spot, got nervous and swerved a bit too hard (**** american cars with feather-like steering) and almost lost control of the car, from that day on I always look at my side mirrors and then a quick glance over the shoulder to make sure I'm clear...

I also make sure I myself do not ride in people's blind spots, If I think I am, I either speed up, slow down or change lane, or position myself in such a way that if they DO swerve in my lane they don't hit me... defensive drive is the best kind of driving...
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:12 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by internationalballer View Post
When you are in a car or on a bike, do you look over your shoulder to check blind spots. I do in my vehicle as well as on my bike. Just curious what others do. Why do you do what you do?
I drive a tractor trailer so looking over the shoulder trick wouldn't work here.
As far as my personal vehicles go, I have my mirrors set to address this issue with minimal trouble. But when it comes to riding my mc I'm a fanatic for looking over my shoulder. Not because I'm driving fast or careless. However, I prefer to wear goggles and a part of the goggle frame creates a blind spot and I want to make sure I have addressed it.

As far as new drivers go watch out that they or you don't pull the wheel in the direction your looking over your shoulder or the next thing one will be looking at is their maker.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:59 AM   #29
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I always look as well. Even two wheelers have a blind spot. A new rider should practice doing this in controlled conditions as it's vital to become proficient at it.
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