Due to blind spots, drivers should shoulder check anytime before they are about to move the vehicle over more than about 1 meter. This is to check for other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists – anything or anyone – who might be in the blind spot.
Blind Spots While Driving
Let’s take the following photo of a driver point-of-view as an example. In the rear-view mirror not much is happening. We can see a silver car in front, a black truck, a red porsche (nice!), and nothing in the left-side mirror, correct?
Does anyone see the driveway to the underground parking lot, where there could be a car about to turn left?
How about now?
Shoulder Check Technique
Generally to do a shoulder check, a driver should peak over the left or right shoulder (whichever direction the vehicle is about to be moved) out the back-side window; although this may vary slightly with different vehicles, such as a convertible with the top up.
Typical situations drivers should shoulder check include:
- Before pulling over to the side of the road (You are driving down the road and you want to pull over and stop beside the edge or the curb).
- Before pulling into the road (as pictured above). I.e. you are parked beside the curb and you are about to drive away.
- Before lane changing
- Before merging onto a freeway/highway
- Before turning right (sometimes left as well) at intersections Right turns without stop signs.
- Before reversing (360 check needed, which includes a couple of shoulder checks) Reversing/Backing Basics.
- Before performing a U-turn, 2-point or 3-point turn 2 Point Turn.
- Before you go into a turning lane.
- Anytime before you will be moving over more than 1 meter.
If you’re looking for detailed information about stop sign intersections and shoulder checks, check out my eBook for drivers here:
Does anyone see the dark minivan in this picture?
How about now?