23 Aug How to Expand Your Field of Vision
Maintaining a wide, clear field of view is a simple, but often neglected aspect of practicing safe driving.
Your ability to stay safe driving any vehicle is dependent on your awareness of the environment around you at any given moment. Improving your situational awareness while driving can help you avoid accidents and steer clear of dangerous drivers and other road hazards.
Keeping Your Windshield Clean
The first line of defense in combatting an obscured field of vision while driving is your windshield. Vehicle windshields covered in dirt, debris, and snow can seriously impede your ability to navigate safely in your vehicle. A clean windshields means you’ll be able to keep your eye on any oncoming traffic, vehicles attempting to shift into your lane, and any road signs and markings. There are a number steps that you can take to keep your windshields clean:
- Always carry window cleaning solution and a towel or microfiber cloth for drying in your car. This will help if you need to clean your windshields for a better view in a pinch, or your vehicle windshield washer reservoir is empty.
- Check your windshield washer reservoir and refill it regularly so you can avoid a situation where you’re unable to clean your windshield while driving. If you’re parking or driving your car in below-freezing temperatures, adding a small amount of anti-freeze will help prevent frost build-up.
- Clean inside your windshields. Dust, fingerprints, or debris can also coat the interior of your vehicle, so cleaning your windshields outside might not help your field of vision. Regular cleaning inside and out can prevent the buildup of film on your windshields.
- Regularly inspect windshield wiper blades. These do wear out, and are easily replaced. Check with your fleet manager or supervisor to find out the replacement policy for windshield wipers.
- Remove frost and snow build up before you start driving with an ice scraper and/or snow brush. Any time spent in a moving vehicle without being able to see increases your changes of crashing. Always ensure that you can clearly see prior to driving.
- In fact, many states will levy citations for obstructed views and fines can reah up to $1,000 for snow left on the roof; this is because ice blocks on the roof of a vehicle can become “ice missiles” that have the potential to hurt, and even kill, other motorists, and criminal charges are a possibility.
- Keep any items from hanging from the rearview mirror or stuck to any of your windshields. A pair of fuzzy dice or a sticker from your favorite radio station may be a fun way to show off your personality, but they can clutter up the visual real estate that lets you know what’s going on around you and your vehicle.
In addition to these windshield care tips, also remember to keep your headlights, brake lights, and tail lights clean and free from dirt and dust as well, especially if you’re driving at night.
Checking for Blind Spots
One essential way to expand your field of vision is being aware of your vehicle’s blind spots. This includes properly setting your mirrors to ensure maximum visibility.
To adjust your rearview mirror, make sure you have a full view of your entire rear windshield without having to move your head. Driver and passenger side mirrors can be adjusted by leaning either against the driver window or over the center console, respectively, and adjusting the mirrors until the sides of your car are just out of view.
These tips should help you maximize your field of view and become a better, safer driver.