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The side mirror, also known as wing mirror or side view mirror, is an essential part of your car’s safety system. It’s as important as any part of your vehicle. You’re required by law to have them on your on the road-use vehicle, to provide you, as a driver, a safe view of your surroundings. You’ll be assured that you can view everything safely while being able to keep your eyes on the road with ease. Since the early 1900s, people have been using side mirrors. What was first handheld mirrors mounted on vehicles have now become mirrors packed with technology. You need them when you’re parking, and the question now is how? We’ll teach you how to use side mirror for parking.

Types of Car Mirrors

There are different types of mirrors that are essential for you and your vehicle’s safety. Altogether, they can assure you that you’ll be able to see everything that’s near your car.

  • Driving Mirror

This is the mirror that you can find above your driver’s seat. It will help you see what the objects near your car are. It will help you estimate the distance between you and the objects behind you.

  • Front View Mirror

Just like the driving mirror, front view mirror will also let you see the objects near your car. You’ll be using it with your rearview mirror.

  • Rear View Mirror

This mirror provides you with the view of objects nearest to you by reflecting them to your interior driving mirror.

  • Side Mirror

It lets you see objects on your left and right side, objects that are not mostly covered by your other mirrors.

Rio Turning Indicator at Side Mirror

Rio Turning Indicator at Side Mirror

Using your Vehicle’s Mirrors to Park

Your mirrors are essential not only for your safety while driving, but also when you’re parking your vehicle. All of them will let you see you’re about to hit another car, a person, or the curb.

How to parallel park with the aid of your mirrors, including your side mirrors:

  1. Find a space.

When looking for a parking spot, make to check whether your vehicle will fit between the two cars. There are tendencies that space will be too small, and you’ll end up scratching your car or other cars.

  1. Position your car.

Slowly and carefully maneuver your car in a parallel position with the car that’s parked in front of the space you intended to park. Your car should be within a meter from the side of that car.

  1. Check all of your mirrors.

Check your rearview mirror, before putting your car in reverse. You should make sure to check your right and left side mirrors for signs of traffic, such as an oncoming vehicle or a walking person. You can only shift your car in reverse when you’re satisfied that your blind spot is clean.

  1. Start backing up.

You should steadily begin to move your vehicle backward, be sure along the side of the car parked in the front of the space. You should start turning your steering wheel to the right little by little.

  1. Straighten your steering wheel.

As you slowly move your vehicle into the empty parking spot, you should leisurely straighten up your steering wheel. Do this you’re slowly moving back towards the car parked at the other end of the space. Make sure that you’re continually checking your mirrors and your windows as you’re maneuvering your vehicle. Do this to ensure that you won’t be hitting the cars bordering the parking space.

  1. Turn your steering wheel to your left.

Once your car’s front has passed the front car’s back bumper, you should slowly begin to move your steering wheel to your left side.

  1. Make sure to check how close you are.

Be sure to check your rearview mirror while you’re slowly inching your way backward in reverse. You should also check your side mirror while you’re starting to straighten your steering wheel. This will enable you to see how close your car is to the one in the parking space behind you.

  1. Adjust your car’s position.

Once your car is already in a straight position, and it’s as close to the curb as you can get, you can shift it into the front. This will allow you to have an adequate space between your car, and the cars in front and back of you.

  1. Don’t forget to pay.

There are parking spaces that have an assigned parking meter.  You should remember to feed the parking meter with coins, because if you won’t pay, you may get a parking ticket.

Your side mirrors are essential parts of your vehicle, and frequently we neglect them. Without side mirrors, you will have difficulties in driving and parking. Driving without them is difficult, and parallel parking would be almost impossible. You should care for them, because without them you wouldn’t have a perfect view of your surroundings, feel safe on the road, and be able to park like a pro.

If you’re interested to know more how you can use your side mirror for parking, you can check StreetWiseDriving for more information.


John Turner

John is a driving instructor and has been teaching people how to drive for the last 20 years. When he’s not training people to drive, he’s working hard writing about is passion for Street Wise Driving. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his family.

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