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A blind spot mirror helps reveal vehicles and obstacles that side mirrors don’t catch on their own.

Joanne Elves/The Globe and Mail

Blind spot mirrors

Available at: Canadian Tire, Walmart, Automotive stores

Price: $6.99 up

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Remember back in driver’s ed when you learned to always check your mirrors and do a shoulder check before changing lanes?

Yeah, many of us get lazy and just use a quick look in the mirror before drifting over. But that’s not a good idea. Most factory-supplied side mirrors have blind spots. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States, roughly 840,000 blind-spot-related accidents happen annually.

Until recently, automobiles lacked collision-avoidance systems and blind-spot alerts. Even now, those systems are usually options in upgrade packages. Other than improving your habits, there is one little gadget that will help you avoid collisions with vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and curbs.

Little stick-on, wide-angle mirrors attached to the outside bottom corner of your side mirrors will show you everything close to the back of your vehicle in that blind spot. They are inexpensive, easy to apply and even though they are small, they do the job – as long as you look.

You don’t need to know it’s a Mazda or a motorcycle. You just need to know there is something beside you that needs to be avoided. And, that’s why a shoulder check is still needed too.

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