Without rear and side view mirrors, driving would be significantly more dangerous. Just imagine: Not only would you have to stick your head out of the window to switch lanes, you'd have to turn completely around in your seat to see the traffic directly behind you. Fortunately, mirrors make it possible for drivers to see most of the road, and a quick turn of the head to check for blind spots or to back up is usually the only physical action necessary.
On towing vehicles, however, rear view mirrors are usually rendered useless by a trailer or a boat, and regular side mirrors aren't enough to drive safely. To make up for this, bigger trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles towing heavy loads use a variety of specially-designed towing mirrors that allow drivers to see everything to the side of and behind the vehicle.
There are generally two types of mirrors that you can purchase. The first are wide, extended mirrors that can replace your current mirrors. This requires removing the inside panels on the front doors and installing the new mirrors, so unless you're experienced in the matter, professionals usually take care of the task. The other are separate, attachable mirrors that you can secure to your existing mirrors. They either clip on or slip over your existing mirrors to provide greater visibility.
Using your mirrors correctly will help to ensure a safe towing trip -- read the next page as we reflect on towing mirrors.