While a larger car offers more protection in the event of a collision, they do not offer as much side and rear view visibility to the driver. Tinted or smaller windows and taller vehicles such as SUVs have very poor visibility, especially if the vehicle to the side or the pedestrian behind in a parking lot are shorter. Rear and side view mirrors, for this reason, become extra important as vehicle size increases. And, the average vehicle is larger now than ever, according to Slate. But even if drivers check their mirrors, they can still miss other vehicles, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians if their mirrors aren’t adjusted properly.
Many Drivers Are Unknowingly Adjusting Their Side View Mirror Improperly
When most drivers adjust their mirrors, they tilt them inwards so that they can just barely see the side of their car in the mirror. This is reassuring, knowing that there is no gap just to the side of the car. However, this presents a problem. It leaves a larger blind spot behind and to the side of the vehicle. It may be a small blind spot, but it is a vital one due to the fact that if the driver turned into that lane without noticing the vehicle in that blind spot, they would probably cause an accident. The Society of Automotive Engineers explains how this blind spot can be completely eliminated with proper mirror adjustment. Their paper suggests tilting both side view mirrors outwards until there is a slight overlap between what is reflected in them and what is seen in the rear view mirror. This technique eliminates the blind spot to the side and rear of the vehicle, but may make some drivers uneasy at first because they can no longer see their own vehicle in the side view mirrors. While the Society of Automotive Engineers suggests that the need to turn and look over one’s shoulder is negated with this proper mirror adjusting technique, we still recommend taking the time to look over your shoulder before you change lanes or make a turn. Mirrors can always accidently move without your knowing it, and there is always a chance that there is still a blind spot after adjusting your mirrors, especially in larger vehicles that do not offer good side and rear visibility due to their length and width. Furthermore, shorter vehicles, motorcyclists, and cyclists may be more difficult to spot even if they are reflected in the mirror, which is why it is always necessary to look over your shoulder before making a maneuver from your lane of traffic.
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Backing Up Techonology and Side View Cameras
It is becoming standard practice to include low, rear-facing cameras that assist drivers in backing up. These cameras are especially useful in taller vehicles that may tower over smaller objects or pedestrians or children that are walking or playing behind the vehicle. The driver can use their mirrors, line of sight while turning around, and the camera, which has a display on the center of the dashboard, to ensure safe reversing. Additionally, some newer vehicles are equipped with cameras mounted to the side view mirrors or radar technology that alerts the driver if a vehicle is to the side of them during a turn or lane change. Technology also exists to alert the driver if they drift out of their line accidentally, which would most likely be due to inattention (cell phone or GPS use) or falling asleep.
Contact the Law Offices of Roger Ghai if You Have Been Injured by Another’s Negligence
If you have been involved in a collision, contact the experienced Georgia car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. today at 770-792-1000 for a free consultation. We are happy to help you fight for compensation.