Pull into an area, such as a neighborhood street, where you can clearly see what's happening around you. Sit in the driver's seat as you normally would. Be real — slouch if you normally slouch or sit up straight if that's your body's natural inclination. Adjust the seat position until it's perfect. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to get the ideal mirror placement.
Now look in your rearview mirror. What do you see? Is it what's directly behind you? If not, adjust your mirror until you're able to see what's going on back there. It's fairly simple, but make sure your day/night switch is turned to the appropriate time-of-day setting to avoid getting glaring beams in your eyes at night.
Poorly adjusted side mirrors are how blind spots happen. Adjusting your side mirrors willy-nilly can make you cut off a fellow driver or even cause an accident. Do not adjust your side mirrors to see the side of your car. Instead, you want to see where your rearview mirror can't. When you're seated comfortably, if you can see your car's reflection in the side mirrors, adjust them slowly outward until the reflection is no longer there. This will ensure that you can see most of what's surrounding you, including cars that sneak into common blind spots.
With your side mirrors and rearview mirror all properly adjusted, you should be able to see almost everything that's happening around and behind you. Now that you think you have the right mirror placement, double-check your work. You've adjusted your mirrors from side to side, but do they need to move up or down to get the full scope of things?
While these criteria form a good basis for using your mirrors to drive safely, you should do what's most comfortable for you. Always be sure to turn your head to check blind spots, in addition to using all vehicle mirrors.
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