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Mirror Use: A Key to Safe Driving

Mirror use

Mirrors are an essential piece of safety equipment. A skilled driver knows how to use mirrors to help manage the space around the truck and avoid crashes while changing lanes, backing, turning, and during startups.

Are there actions you can take to improve your driving skills and reduce the risk of a crash by using your truck’s mirrors more effectively? Read the information below.



Contaminants, such as dirt, fog, and snow, can reduce a driver’s ability to see around the truck.


Vibration while driving can cause mirrors to become misaligned. Damaged, missing, or inoperable mirrors also affect the driver’s ability to manage the space around the truck.


Failing to properly inspect and adjust mirrors before driving – both during the pre-trip inspection as well as follow-up inspections while en route – can negatively affect a driver’s ability to manage the space around the truck. Likewise, it is the driver’s responsibility to report damaged, missing, or inoperable mirrors.



FMCSR Part 393.80(a) requires there be at least two rear-vision mirrors, one on each side, firmly attached to the outside of the motor vehicle. Check all mirrors before driving to ensure they are attached properly, in working order, and aligned correctly. Clean mirrors often using window cleaner. Pull over in a safe place if mirrors become misaligned due to vibration. Report any damaged or inoperable mirrors to maintenance immediately.


1. Mirror use to prevent rear-end crashes:

      • Make frequent, quick glances to mirrors to monitor traffic around the truck, and then return your focus to the traffic
      ahead. Complete this task in conjunction with other rear-end crash-prevention techniques.

2. Mirror use to prevent lane-change crashes:

      • Align and clean the mirrors during every stop.

      • Pull over if mirrors need to be adjusted or cleaned.

      • Replace damaged mirrors immediately.

      • Use the mirrors to monitor the space around the truck, especially before changing lanes. Complete these tasks in       •        conjunction with other lane-change crash-prevention techniques.

3. Mirror use to prevent backing accidents:

      • Adjust mirrors before backing to ensure you can see down the side of the trailer, including your spotter. Do this in
      conjunction with other crash-prevention techniques.

Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other  parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.

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