When they say that size doesn’t matter – they weren’t talking about towing mirrors.
Towing is one of those things in life where it pays to go large.
The normal sized mirrors on your car are simply not going to cut it, when it comes to seeing what is going on at the back of whatever it is that you are towing.
Wherever you are traveling to and whatever it is that you are towing, you are going to need to see an awful lot further behind. Normal size mirrors or not going to be large or high up enough, to see where you are going.
Whether it is right here, in Edmonton, Canada you are thinking of taking your vacation or tow road trip, or somewhere a bit more far afield, you need the right type of mirrors on your vehicle.
WATCH OUT FOR THE BLIND SPOT!
Yes, we know that is a bit hard, because by its very nature, the blind spot is blind.
Towing truck companies everywhere know the importance of watching out for your blind spot, when you are towing a vehicle.
In depth surveys all point to the blind spot and problems with mirrors being the prime cause of towing related accidents on the road.
Most towing companies know the importance of fitting the correct type of mirror onto their vehicles, although not all do.
And we have often found that individual motorists are sometimes not aware of their obligations to check their mirrors carefully before commencing their road trip.
HOW FAR SHOULD I BE ABLE TO SEE?
You should be able to see at least to the end of your tow load and then further beyond, to behind, where the next vehicle is.
You also want to be able to see around the vehicle that you are towing and spot potential hazards, such as pedestrians and motorcyclists.
KEEP YOUR MIRRORS CLEAN
Our first tip is plain, basic commonsense, but it is still something that matters and is relevant to motorists everywhere.
Make sure all your mirrors are clean and free of dirt and debris.
It is that simple! Don’t let something as stupid as a dirty mirror be the cause of a nasty accident when you are towing a trailer or some other vehicle.
HOW BIG SHOULD THOSE MIRRORS BE?
Now we know that size matters, but exactly what size should these mirrors be in order to be safe on the road?
The general rule of thumb is that for every ten feet (or three meters) of vehicle length – and this includes the length of the tow vehicle plus the thing you are towing – that your mirrors should measure one inch, or two and a half centimeters in diameter.
So that means that a fifty-foot vehicle should have five inch diameter mirrors on it.
ALSO, THE MIRRORS SHOULD BE TALLER THAN THE AVERAGE
If you think about it, your towing truck is taller than most of the ordinary vehicles on the road. So, your mirrors should be as well.
The mirror needs to be able to look over the top of the vehicle, so make sure the mirror can actually see everything that it needs to do.
You need to see as far below the height you are at, as possible. This will help solve the blind spot problem and also mean that you can more easily spot short things – like children!!
NOW ADJUST YOUR MIRRORS
So, you have got the right size mirrors on your truck. That’s great, but it’s nothing without having them adjusted correctly.
Before you even leave your driveway, you need to sit in the driver’s seat and check that you can see two hundred feet behind the left and the right-hand side of the vehicle.
If you need help adjusting the mirrors, make sure you get it, before you set off.