When towing, drivers need to be able to see everything that’s going on in the back. But the obstructions are usually quite significant, and enlarging the blind spots by having another vehicle attached behind your car can prove pretty dangerous.
In fact, most surveys have shown that inefficiently sized side mirrors and sizable blind spot areas are to blame for most towing-related accidents on the road.
This is why towing companies need to use towing mirrors on their vehicles to increase the field of visibility for their drivers.
Here’s everything you need to know about towing mirrors and why you need them.
Why Do You Need Towing Mirrors
Standard side mirrors just don’t cut it for tow vehicles simply because they aren’t large or tall enough to reflect the length of the extra added load.
Towing mirrors are of prime importance if you want to make sure that you see all of the pedestrians, vehicles, and obstacles around you. In addition to your load, keeping people on the road and yourself safe, using towing mirrors also keeps you within limits of the law.
Although regulations vary from state to state, drivers are legally required to have a clear view of the street behind, beside, and ahead. To make reversing more effortless and accurate, drivers need to be able to see at least 20m behind the caravan.
How to Choose the Right Towing Mirrors
While there certainly are a wide variety of towing mirrors available to fit your expenses, it’s worth spending some time to consider which type would best suit your vehicle.
Towing mirrors come in various shapes and sizes; the most common are attached to a side view mirror. For mirror mounted towing mirrors, the popular forms include:
- Clamp-style mirrors
- Strap mirrors
- Suction mirrors
- Electric mirrors
Other styles of towing mirrors involve them being attached to vehicle doors and bonnets. You can buy towing mirrors online or in your local hardware or auto parts shop.
Essential Tips for Using Towing Mirrors
Keep Them Clean
Although it might seem obvious, many drivers neglect the fact that towing mirrors are a part of their vehicle and need to be washed regularly. A dirty pair of mirrors could blur your field of vision and impair their use.
Always ensure that your mirrors are as clean as possible, this will also increase their life span, and you likely won’t need to replace them as early.
Adjust Them Properly
Towing mirrors can’t precisely fill their purpose if they aren’t adjusting in the correct position in relation to the driver. Typically, towing mirrors need to be:
- Positioned straight, perpendicular to the vehicle.
- Modified so that you can see about 200 feet behind the driver’s side of the vehicle, i.e., the left side.
- Ask another person to adjust the right side if you can’t do it yourself.
The Size of the Mirrors Matters
Every towing vehicle expert knows that size matters when it comes to towing mirrors. The general guideline for towing mirror size basically boils down to:
- The towing mirror needs to be at least 1 inch in diameter for every 10 feet of overall vehicle length; this includes both the tow vehicle and vehicle being towed.