How to Properly Adjust Your Motorcycle Mirrors
Tips from Our Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Riding rules for motorcycles are just like rules for cars, but the associated risks far differ from one another. A car protects you with its metal frame; a motorcycle simply doesn’t have a frame nor airbags. One thing that victims have in common, as observed by motorcycle accident attorneys, is they do not pay so much attention to the position of their side mirrors.
Some people believe that adjusting the side mirrors is a moot point. They say that you are riding faster than traffic anyway, so there is no need to look at them. Believe it or not, in some countries, side mirrors are mandatory, and yet drivers do not use them. Some even flip them to face forward. This belief will only work in situations where traffic is slow, and the rest of the car drivers are cautious enough. But in urban areas where car drivers do not care, you are like to be a victim of rear-end collision if you swerve or change lanes without using your side mirror or looking behind you.
Why It Is Important
In driving, proper vision is your key defense. Car drivers have three: two side mirrors and one rear view mirror. All of these contribute to good perception and thus helps the driver make sound driving decisions. A motorcycle, on the other hand, only has two side mirrors. Without the side view mirror, a rider’s vision is almost impaired because he cannot see who is directly behind him. He can only see who is beside him. Side mirrors are there for a reason: awareness. And awareness is directly linked to safety.
How to Adjust Your Mirrors
Before you do this, you must sit on your motorcycle in a riding position. Assume the standard position you take as if you are driving. You need to do this to optimize the vision provided by your side mirrors. It will make you comfortable, and it is easier to pay attention to the traffic behind you. The best way to do this is to sit up straight. Do not slouch, unless your riding position requires you to bend over a little bit. Generally speaking, you should sit in the middle and leave some sitting space in front and the back.
The mirrors are usually on the handlebars. Always remember that as you steer the handlebars, the mirrors will also shift angles. In some cases, you may need wrenches to loosen the mirrors before you can adjust them. If the mirrors are loose, get a wrench and tighten the bolts and screws. The last thing you want is for the wind to blow your mirrors out of place.
Once in proper position, make sure the front wheel is in proper alignment. Steer the handle bar if necessary and make sure it is straight. Adjust the side view mirrors in such a way that you can only see the top of your shoulders. Your elbows, while holding the handlebar, must also show on both the side view mirrors. Secure the bolts to a tightness just enough for you to adjust the mirrors while riding, but strong enough not to move with the wind or bumps on the road.
Make sure you can see the road behind you and adjust the mirrors to see as much of the road as possible. The good thing about motorcycles is that you have a wide angle for front vision and you have room to move your head and see behind. Your mirrors should somehow point downwards a little bit. If you point them upwards, you will only see clouds and trucks. Adjust it so you can see car bumpers and their headlights, especially at night.
It is a good practice to get large mirrors because they cover more space. Though they may not be aesthetically pleasing, your safety is your priority. You can choose from hundreds of aftermarket mirrors. Make sure that you select mirrors that do not get foggy or misty. Also, pick mirrors that have better functional value than aesthetic value.
Adjusting your mirrors will always be a compromise. Some drivers prefer the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions while others prefer the 7 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions. As you ride along, you will determine the best angle for you. What is important, according to motorcycle accident attorneys, is that you frequently use your side mirrors. This should make you less prone to accidents and rear collisions.
Lastly, never rely 100% on your mirrors. Always look over your shoulder before changing lanes. Blind spots exist even if you have large side mirrors. Remember, unlike cars, you do not have a rearview mirror. Rearview mirrors are better because they provide a more complete view of what is behind you.