Mirror Use

Mirror Use For Semi Trucks

The mirrors on a commercial motor vehicle are an essential piece of safety equipment. Mirrors can help skilled drivers manage the space around the truck and avoid crashes while changing lanes, backing, and turning. Mirrors require proper care and maintenance, however, and truck drivers must be able to recognize the hazards that can potentially render a mirror useless. Read the information below and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to improve your driving skills and reduce the risk of a crash with better use of your truck’s mirrors.

Recognize the Hazards 


• Misalignment caused by vibrations during a trip

• Dirt- or snow-covered mirrors

• Missing parts

• Too few mirrors to cover blind spots

• Heater does not work

• Wiring malfunction

• Fog/condensation on mirror

• Improper mounting 

Personal behaviors

• Improper adjustment

• Failure to check mirrors during pre-trip, en route, and during post-trip inspection

• Failure to report or replace damaged mirrors

• Failure to clean mirrors


Know the Defense 

Vehicle inspections

• Properly adjust your mirrors during pre-trip, en route, and during post-trip vehicle inspections

• Tighten loose mirrors

• Report damaged equipment to maintenance for replacement

• Clean dirt, mud, ice, snow, and other contaminants from mirrors during each stop, especially during adverse weather

• Keep spare mirrors in the truck

• Encourage management to build a mirror check station at the terminal

• Install fender/hood-mounted mirrors

Crash prevention techniques

• Check mirrors frequently while driving by making quick glances

• Use the Get Out and Look (GOAL) method before backing

• Use the “Lean and Look” method before changing lanes to ensure no vehicles are in the right  or left front of the tractor

• Check the right-side blind spot using the passenger door window

• Plan a route that limits left turns and backing

• Maintain one lane as much as possible

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your Safety Representative, or click below to find an agent.


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© Copyright Great West Casualty Company 2017. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

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, nor does it advise insureds 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. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s 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.