Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

I test drove a Honda Civic yesterday. Even after raising the driver's seat to the maximum possible height and moving the seat forward, I could not see any part of the bonnet. This was a bit off-putting while driving.

I currently drive a Ford Focus. In the focus, I can see part of the bonnet and the driver's side edge. I can also see the 2 nozzles used to squirt water to clean the windshield. I find the 2 nozzles a good reference to centre myself in a lane. Also the visible drivers side bonnet edge is a good reference, to avoid straying accross lane markings on the road.

I know people say that you get used to driving without this reference. But I find that I need to concentrate much more to drive such cars, while a visible bonnet makes staying in lane much more easy. Not to mention maneouvering around tight spaces.

I understand that the only cars where you can see the bonnet now are the bigger cars
(Mondeos, etc.) and SUVs. However rather than being forced to buy such a car, just to see the bonnet, is there any accessories that I can fit, onto the bonnet of a car, to make it more visible?

One option I considered is car lashes, that you see on some cars. However I understand that driving at high speeds, can cause these to chafe the paint on the bonnet.

Anyone aware or can think of any other solution to this problem?

One option I have tried while driving in India, is to stick a plastic dart with a rubber sucker (the kind you get with kid's toy guns), on to the top edge of the headlights using strong glue. The problem I faced with this, was that when the car was parked, passers by had a tendency to try and pull them off.

Also not sure if this idea can work in the UK, when driving at Motorways at 70mph. Not sure if these glued-on darts could fly off, and cause damage to other vehicles?

Surely, I can't be the only person with this problem? And there must be some practical solution to this?

I know that modern rules don't permit anything on the bonnet that may endanger a pedestrian in the case of a collision. But shouldn't it be possible to fix something on the edge of the fender, that is either spring loaded or with a flexible rubber base?

Any ideas / suggestions would be welcome....

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - bolt

personaly I use the line of the bottom of the windscreen, if you do a turn and can see the edge of whatever your going past you know your clear

even on the 8th generation Civic, I used the same line of sight and you cant go wrong, im on my 3rd Civic now without any problems, you do get used to it

even the rear view is nowhere near as bad as people make out and you rarely see any damaged civics

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - argybargy

Without actually going outside and checking, I'm pretty sure I can't see the bonnet of my B Max from the driving seat, so presumably my lane positioning reference is either instinctive or guided by something else. Lane markings, the perspective achieved by looking in the rear view mirrors and the position of other vehicles clearly combine to play a part. Must admit, I do struggle a bit when there are no lane markers.

Staying in lane isn't something I've ever really thought about whilst doing it...it just happens.

Interesting, however, to hear driving described from someone else's angle.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - bolt

just in front of the screen you can see the window wipers and the screen washers(top of washer on offside) what you could try is, to line the bottom of the screen up to the bottom of a post in a car park,(but any marker will do) get out of car then see how much room you have between the bumper and post

you can then judge distances from that

ps the 9th generation has a slightly higher bonnet line than the 8th so when the seat height is right you can see the top of the bonnet just

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

just in front of the screen you can see the window wipers and the screen washers(top of washer on offside) what you could try is, to line the bottom of the screen up to the bottom of a post in a car park,(but any marker will do) get out of car then see how much room you have between the bumper and post

you can then judge distances from that

ps the 9th generation has a slightly higher bonnet line than the 8th so when the seat height is right you can see the top of the bonnet just

There was a similar suggestion about using a card in the inside of the windshield, to identify the external boundaries of the car, by asking someone to position themselves outside.

But this reference will change each time the seat is re-adjusted, say, every time my wife drives the car. So was hoping for a more permanent solution,

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

Without actually going outside and checking, I'm pretty sure I can't see the bonnet of my B Max from the driving seat, so presumably my lane positioning reference is either instinctive or guided by something else. Lane markings, the perspective achieved by looking in the rear view mirrors and the position of other vehicles clearly combine to play a part. Must admit, I do struggle a bit when there are no lane markers.

Staying in lane isn't something I've ever really thought about whilst doing it...it just happens.

Interesting, however, to hear driving described from someone else's angle.

Well, I have been told by a psychologist that it is highly likely (95%+ probability), that I have aspergers / on the autistic spectrum.

So maybe it is something to do with that. Actually it would be interesting to know what others with a diagnosis of Aspergers have to say about their driving experiences, and whether this is a common issue. Maybe the subject of a different thread...

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

Actually just had another thought.

The radio antennas on cars are built on a flexible rubber base. Would it be ok to fit 2 radio antennas on either edge of the front bumper. I know that holes will probably need to be drilled into the bumper for that. But I would assume that this is doable on the plastic bumper.

But any thoughts on whether this would be legal, or any other practical difficulty in doing this?

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - KB.

Easy answer ... buy a Yeti, you can see the whole thing from the driver's seat. Dare say the same would be said for a Defender or Discovery, or even a Freelander.

Yes, you're right... that wasn't very helpful...sorry ....

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

I may yet go down the Yeti route, but not by way of Yeti. :-)

I don't want to consider a diesel or a direct injection option. So that does limit my choices. :-)

Also all SUVs have a significant premium compared to the equivalent mid-size cars. For e.g., the Suzuki S-Cross, Mitsubishi ASX and Nissan Qashqai, all cost signifiantly more than a similar aged used Civic / Focus.

Hence I don't want to go down the SUV route, if I can find some way of suitably modifying a mid sized hatchback, for improved bonnet visibility.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - Gibbo_Wirral

I'm 6 foot 4 and not seen the bonnet on a number of my previous cars. I can't say its ever bothered me or caused any issue.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - bolt

If the civic has parking sensors/anti collision then the sensors will tell you when your too close as they bleep to warn you, they are also distance adjustable or at least they are on mine.not sure if all are though

they can be annoying as in car parks they bleep for anything that goes past front and corners HTHs

And yes you could fit aerials on the wings theres plenty of room

Edited by bolt on 20/09/2017 at 14:05

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - movilogo

>> Surely, I can't be the only person with this problem? And there must be some practical solution to this?

Not being able to see the bonnet has bugged me too, although less in recent years compared to when I first started driving.

If I have the option, I choose cars where I can see the bonnet. Of course, this tends to be expensive SUVs. In my current Kia Ceed, I cannot see bonnet while driving normally but if I take the seatbelt off and lean forward, I can see it partially - which is good enough during tight parking situation. Also, having a rear camera now encourages me to reverse park which further reduced the necessity to see the bonnet.

So options are:

1. Choose a car where you can see the bonnet (there are plenty) - this tends to be

  • boxy small cars (e.g.Kia Soul)
  • cars with long bonnets (e.g. Mercedes)
  • SUVs (several but my favourite is Land Rover)

2. Fit parking sensors.

3. Buy car with 360 degree camera views (rare but getting common over time)

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - Steveieb

Thats why i love driving my sons 07 320 E class Merec which has the three pointed star on the bonnet.

My Accord Mk 1 had a Morris Minor style emblem on the bonnet and its command post driving position was brilliant.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

>> Surely, I can't be the only person with this problem? And there must be some practical solution to this?

Not being able to see the bonnet has bugged me too, although less in recent years compared to when I first started driving.

If I have the option, I choose cars where I can see the bonnet. Of course, this tends to be expensive SUVs. In my current Kia Ceed, I cannot see bonnet while driving normally but if I take the seatbelt off and lean forward, I can see it partially - which is good enough during tight parking situation. Also, having a rear camera now encourages me to reverse park which further reduced the necessity to see the bonnet.

So options are:

1. Choose a car where you can see the bonnet (there are plenty) - this tends to be

  • boxy small cars (e.g.Kia Soul)
  • cars with long bonnets (e.g. Mercedes)
  • SUVs (several but my favourite is Land Rover)

2. Fit parking sensors.

3. Buy car with 360 degree camera views (rare but getting common over time)

The options as I see them are:-

1) Choose a car where you can see the bonnet

  • cars with long bonnets
  • SUVs

Small cares are not a desirable option, because of saftey concerns for rear passengers, in the event of a rear end collision.

2) Fit a visibility aid on the bonnet.

As of now the most promising option seems to be radio aerials on either end of the front bumper. I will check with my insurance company and a local car radio shop, as to it's viability. I am thinking of fitting them in front of the headlights, so that they are also visible during night time driving as well. Any further thoughts / opinions regarding this?

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - argybargy

Without actually going outside and checking, I'm pretty sure I can't see the bonnet of my B Max from the driving seat, so presumably my lane positioning reference is either instinctive or guided by something else. Lane markings, the perspective achieved by looking in the rear view mirrors and the position of other vehicles clearly combine to play a part. Must admit, I do struggle a bit when there are no lane markers.

Staying in lane isn't something I've ever really thought about whilst doing it...it just happens.

Interesting, however, to hear driving described from someone else's angle.

Well, I have been told by a psychologist that it is highly likely (95%+ probability), that I have aspergers / on the autistic spectrum.

So maybe it is something to do with that. Actually it would be interesting to know what others with a diagnosis of Aspergers have to say about their driving experiences, and whether this is a common issue. Maybe the subject of a different thread...

Well, I have been told by a psychologist that it is highly likely (95%+ probability), that I have aspergers / on the autistic spectrum.

So maybe it is something to do with that. Actually it would be interesting to know what others with a diagnosis of Aspergers have to say about their driving experiences, and whether this is a common issue. Maybe the subject of a different thread...

The only thing I can add, after going for a short drive earlier, is that on a single carriageway I occasionally check my position in relation to the road centre lines through the bottom right hand corner of the windscreen. Nothing more specific than that.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - galileo

In my i30, the pivot of the wiper lined up with the kerb or lane marker means the nearside wheels are about 3 inches away from the line. Obviously this is from my personal driving position, may be different for others.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - Steveieb
Tried a Renault Kadjur and can honestly say that it's the worst driving experience for visibility I've encountered.
Thick pillars are all too common these days but this car is claustrophobic.
I'd hate to have to live with it.
Any - car bonnet visibility aids - Avant

I agree - it can be very off-putting. We're on hoiday first in Italy and now in western Austria, and the hired Fiat Tipo has this problem, which is a real pain when you're not used to LHD. (The last few times I've driven abroad I've taen my own car).

I think there are still plenty of non-SUV cars around where you can still see the bonnet. I'm only 5'7" and I can see it in all our cars (V60, A1 and 1-series convertible). I always have the driving seat set high.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - movilogo

Driver's height is less of a deciding factor than the car's bonnet design.

Some cars has so slopey bonnet that even a 7 footer can't see bonnet.

Even different models of same car has this problem. For example, in old Kia Sportage I could not see the bonnet but in 2016+ model I can.

Not tried myself, but I guess one can try having a mirror at RVM and a similar one below - presiscope style where driver can see the bonnet. You can also try a dashcam placed top of windscreen and watch the bonnet on display during parking.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - daveyjp

Buy an original smart - no bonnet to worry about!

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - bolt

Or just get 2 magnetic aerials, one for each wing-or bolt to bumper corners as they are not metal.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

Exactly the option I am considering.

A bit of reserach on the net indicates that magnetic mount aerials can scratch paint. Also there are some reports in the US, about them flying of at high speeds.

So I am thinking of going down the option of bolt on to bumper corners.

Spoke to the insurance company. They confirmed that fitting additional car aerials is not considered a modification to the car.

Thanks all for your responses.

Glad to see that I am not the only one, who finds this irksome.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - SkodaIan

I think the main reason why you can't see the bonnet on many modern cars is that the bit you used to see on older cars is now inside the windscreen. When I learnt to drive about 20 years ago, I was taught to use the front of the A-pillar as side reference points for positioning, parking etc.

Because this change to very deep dashboards has happened fairly slowly, no car seemed hugely different from the predecessor. I got in an early 90s Volvo 850 not that long ago, and it felt like my nose was nearly on the windscreen compared to a modern car, but it seemed perfectly normal at the time.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

I learnt to drive in India, on my grandfather's Amabssador car. The car was a 1963 model. We kept that car till 2008. i.e. 45 years of service. The ambassador was based on the Morris Oxford.

While sitting in the driver's seat of that car, one could easily see all 4 corners of the car.

i.e. the chrome rims of the front headlights and rear brake lights were easily visible. Hence parking anywhere was a breeze.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - Smeagol

Sorry if I appear a touch harsh, but ............if you need the kind of aids you are asking for I think you should question your ability to drive safely.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - thecloser

Hear, hear.

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - bolt

Some people who drive new cars cannot judge distances properly and they know the car.

so it would take a while for a lot of people to get used to a modern car after a 60s car

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - eustace

Sorry if I appear a touch harsh, but ............if you need the kind of aids you are asking for I think you should question your ability to drive safely.

I can see your concerns.

It's not that I can't drive a car without a visible bonnet. It's just that I find that I need to pay more attention / care to do so, as compared to one with a visible bonnet, where driving seems more instinctive that way.

I have been driving a variety of cars and bikes for close to 22 years, and touch wood, have not had an accident yet.

Anyway atleast a few others in the forum too have expressed concerns with invisible bonnets. So I am not alone on this. :-)

Any - car bonnet visibility aids - bolt

reminds me of this thread, so your not alone....

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=71268

Edited by bolt on 22/09/2017 at 11:41

 

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