Go! Drive and Camp Camp Guide - - On The Open Road -

The use of rear-view mir­rors is part and par­cel of tow­ing in the same way that sun­shine is syn­ony­mous with a sea­side hol­i­day. When you ride a bi­cyle, it may be best to keep a beady eye on the road ahead, but when you’re tow­ing a ton be­hind you, you need to see what’s hap­pen­ing both in front and be­hind you. When you do the K53 test, you have to look into the mir­rors af­ter vir­tu­ally ev­ery sec­ond driv­ing ac­tion. With a large car­a­van or trailer of any kind, your rear-view mir­ror is vir­tu­ally use­less and your side mir­rors are of lit­tle value with­out tow­ing mir­rors.


Cur­rently, new ve­hi­cles must meet a spe­cific stan­dard of the SABS as far as rearview mir­rors are con­cerned. This ap­plies to both in­te­rior and ex­te­rior mir­rors. The stan­dard is not spe­cific in re­spect of the size of the mir­rors. It be­comes a tech­ni­cal point since it is rather about what you can see be­hind you.

Also of im­por­tance is the mea­sure of dis­tor­tion that a rear-view mir­ror can cause: no rear-view mir­ror must change the pic­ture dras­ti­cally or com­pletely. We do know, how­ever, that there is a warn­ing on some mir­rors stat­ing that ob­jects in the rear-view mir­ror may seem to be farther away or ap­pear closer than they ac­tu­ally are from your ve­hi­cle.

Mod­ern mir­rors – so-called blind-spot mir­rors – take things a step fur­ther with re­gard to rear­ward vis­i­bil­ity by show­ing a sec­tion that isn’t nor­mally in view.


The K53 test in­volves dozens of “ob­ser­va­tions” that re­quire you to keep an eye on the rear-view mir­rors all the time. You are re­quired to fully ad­just the rear-view mir­rors be­fore you drive away. Once you’re on your way, you have to look in the mir­rors ev­ery five to eight se­conds.

Fur­ther­more, you have to look in the rear-view mir­rors be­fore per­form­ing any ac­tion, such as gear­ing down, stop­ping in traf­fic, park­ing or driv­ing through an in­ter­sec­tion. The use of mir­rors is a crit­i­cal part

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