**** M is for Mirrors ***
Using your driving mirrors regularly and sensibly is vital to good driving.
Learning to judge the speed and distance of vehicles behind you takes time.
Try the following exercise when your vehicle is stationary:
Compare the different impressions you get when you view vehicles through the interior mirror and the exterior mirrors. The vehicles may seem smaller in the exterior mirrors. Then look over your shoulder to get the real view.
Also while you're stationary, look for blind spots. These are the areas that your mirrors don't always show you.
Which mirror to use
Your use of the mirrors should be linked to the manoeuvre you intend to make and the type of vehicle you are driving.
Normally you should always use the interior mirror first, followed by the exterior ones.
Your use of the exterior mirrors will depend on the manoeuvre and the situation. For example, before turning left in slow moving traffic, your nearside exterior mirror will help you look for cyclists filtering on your left.
When to use your mirrors
You should always:
Use your mirrors in good time, that is,
Well before you approach a hazard, slow down, change lane or begin any manoeuvre.
Act sensibly on what you see
Begin the MSM routine early
And always use your mirrors before:
Changing direction/lane, turning left, right or overtaking
Slowing down or stopping
Opening your car door.
This is one of the few driving rules that is not subject to any exception or qualification, other than in an emergency.
What's behind you? Ask yourself:
How close is traffic behind you?
How fast is it moving?
What's it doing?
Is the manoeuvre safe?
It's also important to use the mirrors early enough to allow other road users time to react to any signal you need to give. Use your mirrors to check their reaction.