I am not sure whether this thread should be disussion sited or technical. I leave it to the experts to decide.
[I\'ve moved it to Technical because I think it is of future value. MBRM]
I have become a more hesitant driver because of the blind spot in the right wing mirror of my L.reg Mercedes 109E. Pulling out to overtake or change lanes has become a real worry to me. Today I nearly sideswiped a car even though I was as cautious as I could be. Needless to say, I and the other driver were more than a touch discombobulated.
I have been advised that Halfords sell a small mirror that one sticks onto one\'s wing mirror so improving visibility.
Has anybody out there any experience of such an item and could advise whether it works or not.
Is there any other solution to this problem.
I am going on a trip of approx. 450 miles within the next few weeks so would really, really like to lesson the risks of any
One quick glance over the shoulder is worth two stick on mirrors from Halfords Rita, but having said that my daughter has them and finds them very suitable for the purpose once in the right position for best effect.
"discombobulated" - I like that word. Haven't the foggiest idea what it means though!
Yes, the stick-on 'overtaking' mirrors do work. Only snag is that they fall off after not much more than a year, usually when washing the car. I need a new one at the moment and have been advised by a friend to look out for a round one rather than my usual rectangular one.
When I last bought them, they were sold in packs of two but I found it a waste of time having one on the nearside door mirror. Instead I kept the second one as a replacement for when the first one fell off!
Re: Phil's comments ... I agree that a glance over the shoulder is still needed if there is any doubt at all about what is in your blind spot, but the little mirror gives good early warning and saves a lot of neck craning.
Are you suggesting that we don't need any mirrors at all? If we DO need them, what is the objection to having them show the widest possible view rather than provide a blind spot?
I agree with the substance of your 'constant all round observation' theory. A fella by the name of Stirling Moss once said that a driver should be able to take a mental snapshot at any instant in time and know exactly what is going on, both in front and behind. I always try to follow that advice and that may be why I've managed 40 years of driving without an insurance claim (plus probably more than my fair share of luck!). I think it is particularly important that you know what is going on around you on a multi-lane road at all times.
However, when about to join a multi-lane road it can be difficult to be sure that a vehicle already on the road has moved over to let you in or whether you need to slow down and join later. A glance in the little mirror can give you a pre-warning as to the prevailing situation and this is where I find it most useful. Remember, us TOGS (1) are not so nimble as you TOBYs (2) at looking over our shoulders.
I thought what I was saying was quite simple really. Where did I say that no mirrors at all are needed?
I consider that the additional view provided by the small stick on / clip on mirrors, at least the ones I tried, is so poor that I would rather not waste my money on them.
I found that the quality of the image was not up to the job. Also found that the stick on ones reduced the field of view from the mirrors proper.
Therefore I concluded that, for me at least, I would rather drive knowing that I have a potential blind spot, adjust the mirrors to try and minimise that blind spot, and use observation, the mental snapshot and tracking of other hazards to keep safe and aware of what is/could be in that blind spot.
Considering the comments about quality of image I feel the additional mirror gave a false sense of security.
Works for me.
As for the joining a multi lane road, I'm not sure at what stage of proceedings you are talking about, but in general I try and have positioning, timing and speed sorted with a target spot picked out long before mirrors would be any use.
And as for being a TOBY, well thanks for the flattery but won't see under 50 again. OK so I can still do the over the shoulder glance, guess I'll have to tackle that problem in years to come.
Some cars now come with factory fit split field door mirror. After driving a car fitted with one for six years I found it very useful. My current car purchased last September doesn't have one and I miss it. I asked the dealer parts department if a split field mirror was available from the accesory catalogue and they said no. In fact they said on models fitted with them as standard some people wanted to swap back to single vision mirrors. I agree that even with blind-spot mirrors fitted they are only part of ones all round situation awareness.
All round observation activity contnuous -
I was told by my driving examiner, who passed me anyway, that "I notice you are in the habit of looking over your shoulder. Of course you can't do that while the car is moving." Fortunately that is one piece of expert advice I decided to ignore.
Yup, round ones are best, though they seem to be a lot harder to find.
I've used both for years and agree that they are a usefull additional safety measure.
Never had any problems with adhesion or quality. Even reused them with mirror fixing pads when I've not been able to find new ones for a "new" car.
The wedge shaped ones don't seem to stick as well, the mirror finish doesn't last, and wherever you put them you don't seem to get a logical view in conjunction with the main mirror.
But remember that, as they are wide angle, even quite close vehicles are sometimes hard to spot, and they are no use for judging speed and distance. If you spot something in them that you'd missed with your other checks: that's a bonus. If you don't, as with any other check, don't rely on that as proving it's safe.
An added bonus is that they give you an excellent view of the kerb/ parking bay/ badly parked car alongside (even though it drove in) when reversing in.
Also prefer the flat proper mirrors with a wide angle section to the semi wide angle ones which are the worst of both worlds: don't cover all the blind spots and useless for judging speed and distance. Perhaps most people prefer them because they don't have to adjust them from whatever position they left the factory in. But then most people seem to prefer to drive in whatever position the seat came in, even if fully reclined for some work on the headlining, and to drive into driveways and parking bays because the car left the factory with the seat facing forward. And then wonder why they have such problems getting back out again into the traffic.
In the IAM we teach the 'over the shoulder look' as the Lifesaver.
The wing mirrors are called Bob and Tom - boy on bike and twit on motorbike...with apologies to all bikers before they attack me!
Rita, I had exactly the same problem with a 190E. I then tried this method(From an M-B forum)
1.Adjust interior mirror to suit you.
2.Put your head on the driver side window & adjust driver side mirror until you can just see side of car.
3.Put your head in the MIDDLE of the car & adjust the passenger side mirror so that you can just see the side of your car.
4.Try it, you will find it helps considerably.Overtaking cars
can be seen first in the interior mirror,as you lose sight of it, it appears in the drivers side mirror, with no blind spot.
5. Many owners found it very helpful, especially as looking behind in a 190 is not easy unless one has a giraffe neck.
Cars haven't had wing mirrors for about 30 years. Presumably we are talking about door mirrors here?
In a modern car with door mirrors you have to turn your head to see in the left hand mirror. In my 1964 Triumph 2000 which has wing mirrors, I can see in all the mirrors just by moving my eyes, not head.
Has something been lost here?
Yes, Cliff, something has been lost.
The fact that door mirrors are so far out of the natural line of sight may account for the fact that ALL, except one, of the accidents I have seen recently have been due to lack of observation by a driver of the traffic behind.
The exception was when a driver could not see a stationary motorcycle 12 inches in front of her similarly stationary car!
Another Triumph 'big six' owner in the Backroom! Congratulations on your good taste, Cliff. My first Triumph 'big six' was a 1965 T2000, GGK 884C, rather sluggish compared with my present T2500 but more comfortable and with proper leather seats. Are you a member of the T2000 Register by any chance?
I keep seeing new car road test reports where they describe door mirrors as "wing mirrors". They don't describe sills as "running boards" though. Most odd.
My experience with wing mirrors is quite different to yours. I have them on my T2500 and they are totally useless because they are so far away that they give only a very small field of view. I tried to set them simply to pick up the 'blind spot' but the windsceen pillars get in the way, perhaps because the mirrors are the swept-back, streamlined, type rather than the more normal stick-out type.
The advice by Simon Templar is the best description I have yet come across as to how to adjust door mirrors. It describes what I achieve by other means - positioning my car in the middle of a quiet residential road and using the mirror view of cars either side to get the best mirror postion.
Most drivers set their door mirror incorrectly: to view virtually the same area covered by their rearview interior mirror. Next time backroomers are on a motorway or dual-carriageway, they can check this out - just look at the driver's door mirror of other cars as you are about to pass them: you will see that the driver's face is not in the field of vision - because the mirror has been set incorrectly.
HJ: May I suggesst that ST's advice is included as a FAQ on how to adjust door mirrors for optimum safety.
Further to above stuff about the things falling off...
They normally come with some shoddy double-sided mirror tape attached, which lasts a few months then falls of.
I find removing the tape, and using the special dollop they use for attaching interior mirrors a far better prospect.
Make sure both surfaces are clean (lighter fluid works well)!
I really appreciate all the responses to my thread.
Went to Halfords on Sunday. They had a selection of 'blind spot' problem-solving mirrors which leads me to infer that 'blind spots' are a big, big problem. Being the world's worst shopper I am better when given no options as I tend to dither and become uncertain as to which is the best buy. They didn't stock the round mirror, either.
What I have tried is Simon T's suggestion regarding mirror alignment and have found it has improved visibility no end and am now much more confident regarding lane changing.
As a general rule I find it difficult to look over my shoulder, and in this car it avails me naught as the door structure gets in the way.
Can anyone tell me how a man can be got to the moon, but car design is such that problems like 'blind spots' are not considered during the design process and possibly eliminated.
I had exactly that problem with my LDV200 panel van. Just fixed another mirror below the original aimed at the blind spot. Really great, I never get caught out now by cars who pull alongside on motorways and just sit there even though there was nothing in front of them.
Still see loads of artics with single mirror.
Have been using the stick on mirror marketed under the Paddy Hopkirk trade name for the last twenty years and swear by them,they have not fallen off as some have suggested,and even on mr present car,a Vectra with the funny mirrors,do not interfere with normal rear vision.
Incidently re these "funny" mirrors had they been fitted to a Ferrari friend Clarkson would have probably wet himself in his enthusiasm.