It's easy to get focused on what's ahead of you while driving, but unless you make a habit of routinely checking all three rearview mirrors, you're limiting your ability to understand what's happening around you. Although you shouldn't spend much time staring in your mirrors, briefly check them every five seconds.
It's safest to check your rearview mirrors every five seconds, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Checking mirrors with this frequency allows you to monitor the speed, location and signals of motorists behind you while gauging if you need to take an evasive movement because of another driver. Keep mirror checks brief; a quick movement of your eyes provides the necessary information without significantly distracting you from what's ahead on the road.