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Blind Spots and Driver Visibility

<img src="car mirror blind spot.jpg" alt="Car mirror blind spot" width="127" height="99">

Blind spots and driver visibility

A blind spot is an area around the vehicle that cannot be directly observed by the driver while at the controls.

Driver visibility is the maximum distance at which the driver of a vehicle can see and identify prominent objects around the vehicle. Visibility is primarily determined by weather conditions and by a vehicle’s design. Good driver visibility is essential to safe road traffic.

As one is driving an automobile, blind spots are the areas of the road that cannot be seen while looking forward or through either the rear view or side mirrors. The most common are the rear quarter blind spots, areas towards the rear of the vehicle on both sides. Vehicles in the adjacent lanes of the road that fall into these blind spots may not be visible, using only the car’s mirrors.

Reducing blind spots

Rear quarter blind spots can be:

  • checked by turning one’s head briefly
  • reduced by installing mirrors with larger fields-of-view, or
  • eliminated by reducing overlap between side and rear-view mirrors by adjusting side mirrors.

A driver may reduce the size of a blind spot or eliminate it completely by turning their head in the direction of the obstruction. This allows the driver to see better around the obstruction and allows the driver better depth perception.

Windshield reflections 

<img src="windshield reflection.jpg" alt="Windshield reflection" width="92" height="138">

Windshield reflection may cause bad visibility

Dashboard reflection: 

It is best if the dashboard has a non-reflecting dark colored surface.

A small dashboard gives some reflection on the lower part of the windshield.

A big dashboard can give reflection on eye height.

Light through roof reflection:

Some new model cars have a very big sunroof. Sometimes the sunlight through the roof, lights up the dashboard and gives a reflection in the windshield.

Blind Spot Information System 

BLIS is an acronym for Blind Spot Information System, a system of protection developed by Volvo.

This system was first introduced in the Volvo S80 sedan and produced a visible alert when a car entered the blind spot while a driver was switching lanes, using two door mounted lenses to check the blind spot area for an impending collision.

Some newer and more costly systems use side radar offering better performance and also warn of fast approaching vehicles entering the blind spot.


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