BE VIGILANT: It’s not enough to check your side-mirrors and indicate before changing lanes. Danger can lurk in your vehicle’s blind-spot. Image: Shutterstock ~ Shutterstock
Research has shown that one of the key factors in making cars stronger is the evolution of the A-pillar - a strut that separates the windscreen and the side-windows.
Over the years in an attempt to enhance the overall structure of the car automakers vehicle makers have created an ever sturdier A-pillar.
The downside to this increase in strength however is that the A- pillar has created a blind spot the obstructs the vision the numerous modern car drivers.
DANGER LURKING BEHIND
It is the responsibility of drivers to take into account any restriction in vision caused by an A- pillar. More than 90% of the information from the cars external environment is viewed by the driver through the windscreen and windows. So, you should be aware of the potential restriction the A-pillar may cause in your ability the scan the road ahead.
Blind-spot safety checks:
• It is vital to make sure that nothing is concealed before changing lanes moving off or performing a manoeuvre such as pulling out of a parking space.
• People on foot or on bikes are easy to lose in the space behind a pillar.
• When driving towards a road junction it is wise to look further ahead and scan left to right as you continue to drive forward. That way you will see things through the windscreen before they become lost behind the pillars
• Check and adjust your mirrors and find your blind spots. Check your blind spots by turning your head to look over your shoulder before changing lanes, passing, turning or before opening your door when parked next to traffic.
• Signal when you want to move left or right. Check again to make sure the way is clear and steer gradually into the new lane, maintaining the same speed or gently increase it.
• Be alert to the fact that the driver next to you might not be aware of your presence - and rather increase or decrease your speed to avoid being in his blind spot.
• Stay out of other driver’s blind spots, especially large vehicles like trucks.