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Old 03-02-2015, 04:13 PM   #1
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PASSING AUTOMOBILES cutting it too close

I tow with a 2012 Toyota Tundra. Standard factory mirrors and no mirrors attached while towing.

My driver's side mirror I can see as far back as needed to change lanes.

My passenger's side mirror with the "safety mirror" shows a distorted distance of a vehicle on your right side. It appears to be 200 feet back, but is actually less than half that distance. Maybe even closer than any of us would consider a safe distance to return back into the right lane. My biggest complaint of modern vehicles with the government requirement that these "objects are closer than they appear" etched into each and every mirror. Obviously someone felt it would save someone the grief of backing over someone... and yet thousands of accidents could have been avoided by a standard mirror, like the Driver's Side Mirror.

I never needed those temporary mirrors attached that obscure your view and the images are a vibrating image of something...

You might have wondered why people will pass on an open interstate with no traffic and immediately cut in front of you. You first think they must be MAD at you. Maybe 65mph on the Interstate bothers some. Maybe you are from out of state and this driver's ex lives in that state. Forget these possible reasons for a passing car for cutting very close to your front end after passing, with plenty of distance ahead to have done it with much more space separation.

THOSE PASSENGER SIDE MIRRORS ARE THE CULPRIT. You appear much farther away in this mirror after the vehicle passes. It is even difficult to judge the actual distance when you KNOW the image is distorted.

Does anyone know WHY these mirrors are required? I would think more accidents have occurred by having these mirrors. At least next time you have a vehicle pass and they cut back into the right lane after ten feet... it might not be the driver. It is the MIRROR image.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Does anyone know WHY these mirrors are required? I would think more accidents have occurred by having these mirrors. At least next time you have a vehicle pass and they cut back into the right lane after ten feet... it might not be the driver. It is the MIRROR image.
Doesn't explain why it happened to me yesterday on I-59 when I was passed too close by a guy on a motorcycle. He was too close coming up alongside as well as when he cut in front of me. Gave me quite a fright when his right-side handlebar passed under my driver's side mirror!
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:21 PM   #3
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I thought it was just me this happened too. People drive stupid.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:29 PM   #4
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In Il. before I had cataract surg. drivers lic. had notation must have outside mirrors both sides, since corrected no restrictions, so one reason for out side mirrors, also I have them and used long before surgery. Pasgr. side mirrors have markings obj. are closer than appear.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:54 PM   #5
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We didn't need convex mirrors before interstate highways because most roads were two lanes and you didn't need the wider view angle that convex mirrors provide.
I like the wider view and have adapted to the distance distortion.


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Old 03-02-2015, 05:14 PM   #6
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Most people don't have their mirrors aimed right anyway...
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:21 PM   #7
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On the Passenger Side: Size and Distance
If rays of light are carrying the image of a car in a mirror, and those rays travel outward before hitting your eye, the car that reaches your eye is not exactly the same as the car that reflected the light.
To be more specific, it's not in the exact same location. To our eye, the image carried in light reflected from a curved surface (actually any surface, curved or not) appears to be located where those light waves intersect. This is the focal point. Diverging light waves, however, would only intersect if they were to continue through the mirror, to the other side. This means the image of the car seems to be located behind the mirror, at a greater distance from your eye.
The images reflected in a convex mirror, then, look smaller than they are -- they're compressed. This is why convex mirrors are used on cars: They reflect more in a smaller space. In other words, a convex mirror has a wider field of view than a flat one, which can only reflect the area right in front of it. With a wider field of view, the driver has more information about the area to the right of the car.
This is the safety trade-off. A convex mirror sacrifices accurate distance perception for a wider field of view. And a wider field of view means a much smaller blind spot than you have on the driver's side of the car.
To avoid image distortion on the driver's side, U.S. regulations require driver's side mirrors to be flat [source: Taub]. Unfortunately, because flat mirrors have a very narrow field of view, there is a substantial area next to the car that they don't reflect. Elsewhere, such as in Europe, large blind spots can be avoided, because regulations allow both side-view mirrors to be convex [source: Taub]. Two wide-angle mirrors can cover a whole lot of (slightly distorted) space.
The current trade-off may not be the end of it, though. In May 2012, a Drexel University math professor patented a mirror that is slightly, calculatedly curved to reflect a wider field of view with less distortion [source: PHYS]. It's convex, yes; but objects in that mirror are about as close as they appear.
Whether this mirror is widely adopted and, if it is, whether it's required to carry the warning/disclaimer we've come to know and love, remains to be seen.
For more information on curved mirrors, driver safety, and related topics, check out the links on the next page.

So to sum up, you have flat on drivers side as your field of view is greater when you turn to look and a convex on the passenger side as your field of vision is compromised from the drivers seat.

However this doesn't explain the guy that's towing something that slams into the side of your car because he forgot he was towing something.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:43 PM   #8
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I like the setup on my Airstream Interstate. Two mirrors on each side, one above the other. Larger top mirror is flat, and bottom mirror is convex. By careful aiming of these four mirrors, by the time a vehicle disappears from the rear-view camera, it will appear in a convex mirror, by the time it disappears from the convex mirror it's visible in the flat mirror, and by the time it disappears from the flat mirror it's visible through the driver's or passenger's front window. No blind spots at all, on either side of the vehicle.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:57 PM   #9
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I thought it was just me this happened too. People drive stupid.

In the #5 (slow) lane pulling the Safari 60 mph in L.A. on I-5 North bound in mid morning. In my driver side mirror I spot 4-5 motorcycles closing at a very high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic, doing wheelies while standing on there seats doing 80+ when they passed us. Just a little UN-nerving.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:10 PM   #10
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Doesn't explain why it happened to me yesterday on I-59 when I was passed too close by a guy on a motorcycle. He was too close coming up alongside as well as when he cut in front of me. Gave me quite a fright when his right-side handlebar passed under my driver's side mirror!

Having ridden bikes my whole adult life, and most of my adolescent, I cringe every time I see this. Whenever you hear about the number of accidents/deaths on motorcycles, remember these idiots. For some reason some guys (and gals) think that just because a bike CAN fit in a space, they need to squeeze into it.

-Red, checking twice, saving lives...
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:10 PM   #11
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Being in Florida, we have to deal with our fair share of clowns who cut us off and cut in too close. That is why I installed this
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
Most people don't have their mirrors aimed right anyway...
Yep. The rule I was taught many years ago was when you lose the vision of a vehicle that was visible in the rear mirror, the vehicle should be in your side mirror. If you are adjusted correctly that vehicle should continue to appear in the side mirror and shouldn't disappear until you actually see the vehicle appear in your peripheral vision, or if it's long enough you will see it as it just gets to the edge where your door and front fender come together.

I've tried to emphasize that to my son but he adjusts his to show the side of his car. That's too close and will miss a vehicle that is traveling close to the left hand stripe on the lane to his left. That's an accident waiting to happen.

The convex mirror on the right gives you a lot more grace to see that right side if you have it out of adjustment. The key as noted is learning when to pull back in. In most cases I can see the shadow from the Airstream or the vehicle I am passing. Once that shadow clears the vehicle I am passing (or if I get out of his shadow), I add just a little more distance and then pull to the right. I've never cut anyone close using this technique.

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Old 03-02-2015, 08:56 PM   #13
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Meatloaf had it all wrong I guess.....
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:04 PM   #14
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Thought you were going for Bat Out Of Hell there..

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