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Old 01-16-2008, 03:02 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Forester 2.5 XTi View Post
It's wasted space. The needed space should be at your ready. The viewing area should be outside of the vehicle, that's #1. I don't intend on arguing as it's been covered before. But...
I really think part of the problem with this thread is people are viewing the "after" diagram in the Pop Mech article and saying "yes, that's how I have my mirrors". But following the description in that article does NOT lead to what the diagram shows. As Tau rightly points out, by following the instructions you are merely swapping one blind spot for another, and the new blind spot is further behind you and therefore harder to deal with. I am puzzled why people keep writing "why would you want to see the side of the car". Clearly, anyone who sets their mirror to show a great deal of the actual side of their car is very misguided. But you do need to be able to see *along* the side of the car. Tau also makes a good point with reference to having some redundancy/duplication of view between the side and internal mirrors; when there are rear seat passengers' heads or some cargo partially blocking the view out the back this can be a big benefit.

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Old 01-16-2008, 07:02 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Maybe some of it is geometry - different seating positions could give different results. I sit about two notches up from the rearmost position since I'm a bit long-legged. In my case, and this reiterates what I said in the first post, I now have complete coverage when either passing on the left or being passed: before the car disappears from my rear-view, it shows up in my side mirrors, and then again before I lose it in the side mirror it becomes visible in my peripheral vision.

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(the large movements like those recommended if the "Populist Mechanics" article will involve torso and thus be much slower and disrupt driving posture; more straining, too)
I don't get it. The movement the article explains is done before you even start the car - once set, they're set forever unless further adjusted. You don't lean all the way over left or right to check your mirrors while driving; you only do it in the driveway to get them set the way they describe and then simply turn your eyes to check the mirrors, then turn your head to check the blindspot if the mirrors show that things look clear.

I'm not sure how having a 360-degree view makes things less safe - and, yes, in my case the view IS 360-degrees now. If anything, it's more safe since I don't need to twist my body to check the blindspot initially when deciding to change lanes in the first place. I understand that this should not eliminate double-checking the blindspot before changing lanes by turning your head, but if I can simply look in the mirrors to see if there's a car there BEFORE turning my head to double-check, then that's a benefit. I don't recall anyone advocating not turning around to check... but this takes much of the guesswork out in heavy traffic.

Just curious - have you actually tried this since the thread was posted, or simply declared it, and those who do it this way, unsafe without actually giving it a shot? Whatever the case, I fail to see how it makes things worse - improved situational awareness while keeping your head and body facing forward is a win-win.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:32 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dan View Post
...I now have complete coverage when either passing on the left or being passed: before the car disappears from my rear-view, it shows up in my side mirrors, and then again before I lose it in the side mirror it becomes visible in my peripheral vision... I'm not sure how having a 360-degree view makes things less safe - and, yes, in my case the view IS 360-degrees now.
Excuse me, Dan, could possibly elaborate a little on this? A simple diagram/drawing, perhaps? Comments on the one above? May be that will help me to understand it, since so far fail to see how you can possibly have 360 view... unless we're advocating nearly the same setup (which now seems even more likely to me, considering how far from the steering wheel you sit and the limits of adjustment of the side view mirrors). Also please address the potential issue with smaller object (e.g., bikes).

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Originally Posted by Dan View Post
I don't get it. The movement the article explains is done before you even start the car - once set, they're set forever unless further adjusted. You don't lean all the way over left or right to check your mirrors while driving; you only do it in the driveway to get them set the way they describe and then simply turn your eyes to check the mirrors, then turn your head to check the blindspot if the mirrors show that things look clear.
That is' exactly the problem - if you adjust the mirrors that way, and NOT learn toward the glass while you drive, you will have a nasty blind spot along the side of your car (please see Steve's post above).

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Just curious - have you actually tried this since the thread was posted, or simply declared it, and those who do it this way, unsafe without actually giving it a shot?
I did. And felt totally insecure because I could not see that rear blind spot, unless I moved my head a lot or kept switching focus between rear and side view, which is slow and distractive (I am used to being able to have complete coverage from just the side mirror plus side glance/turn in any lane changing or similar maneuver, even without convex sub-mirrors). I also considered this many years ago as well, and rejected it for the very same reasons (and banning the person who suggested that from driving my car).

So it's not the matter of habit and/or stubbornness and/or "superiority complex", as you keep trying to suggest - it's a matter or thorough research, analysis and experimentation. And since my anatomy and physiology is nothing out of the ordinary, I am reasonably certain that my conclusions apply to most other people as well. If I am mistaken, please show me where and how (the paragraphs above provide a good reference point in terms of questions that need to be answered).

There might be another thing at play here, somewhat related to "personal preference" (so that not to induce another attack on myself for suggesting that this is "the right way" for everyone)... I have to have full coverage with fast response times, and I cannot achieve that by having poorly/barely covered "transition zones" and no reference points - I need to locate and track all threats thoroughly and quickly, instead of just seeing a corner of an approaching car in one mirror or the other and simply "checking if there is something in the place where I want to go", since that only provides a fuzzy binary answer, and not much perspective/prediction (yes, the latter can be obtained with more intensive prior scanning, but it is more straining, takes longer, and is, therefore, less than optimal, to say the least). But this is just me - I like to have as much control over the situation as possible.

I also never thought my driving skills were perfect - that's why I am constantly trying to make a reasonable effort to improve them (reasonable - because most of my driving is till just a commute to and from work, so the possibilities are limited)...

...way too may "I"s in here...
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:10 AM   #64 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tau137 View Post
...way too may "I"s in here...
LOL - true. We all sit in different positions, drive differently, have different habits.

I completely agree with you about a fully obstructed rearview mirror. In that case with the rearview mirror providing no help the adjustments in the article will have you lose most of your early warning since setting them that way means you won't pick up the cars until they're almost right off the rear bumper. In those cases, I'll set them back the other way, just skimming along the edge of the fenders. Not a huge deal in my case since I've only loaded the car that much maybe a small handful of times.

For motorcycles, I haven't tried yet. Weather is too cold for them to be out and about. I've noticed that I still get nice visibility on small cars like Corollas, Aveos, etc. The motorcycles around here are almost all cruisers (think: Harley) with loud pipes; you just about need to be deaf to not notice they're nearby. I wish I were joking about that - they are quite loud.

What I may try, in order to show what I get, is to put the car in the middle of the driveway, set my camera on a tripod approximating where my head sits, and park my bike in various places around the car - if I can see a plain ol' bicycle in the mirrors then that oughta cover just about anything that we might encounter on the roads. If it were warmer outside, I'd have done this already
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:46 AM   #65 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Takami826 View Post
I like when people have their mirrors aimed right at the sides of their cars... do they lose 'sense' of where their doors are?
They must, just like the idiots who like to drive holding the drivers door closed by dangling their arm down the outside of the door.

Yes, it's illegal down here too but drivers still insist on doing it and occasionally losing the arm or having it mangled beyond use.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:07 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #67 (permalink)
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The info in the video is spot on. Anyone who has ever raced knows that mirrors should be set up to eliminate blind spots and follow movement of a vehicle behind you until it enters your peripheral vision from the left or right. Think of setting them up this way; your rear view gives vision directly behind and as the vehicle leaves your rear view it should immediately enter either your right or left hand side mirror. If the vehicle enters your side mirrors this way you will then pick it up in your peripheral vision as it progresses along side your vehicle. In theory, this should eliminate the need to turn your head but in everyday driving it's advisable to put in the extra effort as a means of double checking. Watch a road racing event and notice that a driver using both the rear and side view mirrors never turns his head. Proper mirror setup is critical because with a helmet on you will lose some of your peripheral vision and you must rely on what your seeing in your mirrors to stay out of trouble. hope this helps...
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:20 PM   #68 (permalink)
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I personally could never totally trust just the mirrors without doing a head turn before changing lanes. I've just adjusted my mirrors and will give it a go, but I still think using the peripheral part of your sight, which has sensors specially designed to pick motion, is the best way to 'clear' a blind spot.

btw; I'm a trained police pursuit driver and even in high speed pursuits I always used a head check.

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Old 02-21-2012, 10:38 PM   #69 (permalink)
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I suppose that initially I was like Dan and others who thought that Tau137 was just being unreasonably adamant, but after further thought on the matter, my reflection is that I'm probably somewhere in between their two stances.
First, I will say that for those times I am backing up, either in vehicle alone, and more especially, backing a trailer up, I will always do so with a view including the side of the car, as a reference. NOBODY that backs trailers more than once a year should do otherwise. Even then...

Having said that, I position each of the side mirrors such I can see the side of the car WHEN I turn my head. But for quick, emergency lane changes, if I've been keeping track of those about me, I'll not turn my head, I'll look to the side mirrors and inside rearview mirrors (if I'm moving to a lane to my left, I'll probably check right hand mirror, scan inside mirror, and before changing lanes, check left hand mirror, ALL WITHOUT TURNING MY HEAD). Only then would I continue my glance to the mirror, into a quick glance out the window to make sure a car wasn't already overtaking me and ahead of my side mirror view.
This all can happen in a second, much faster than it takes to explain it (and I suspect I haven't done that great of a job, at that...).

I no longer feel compelled to try to change Tau137s mind...but for those that haven't tried it, I encourage them to do so, and do so for a week or more, it takes some getting used to, after years and years of the traditional method. I've been using this technique now for about ten years now. It's the first thing I do when I get into a rental.

The presumption here is that we're talking Foresters with superior visibility. If I were in low slung cars with poor rearward visibility, it would be different.

Drive safe out there!
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:50 AM   #70 (permalink)
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^ Maybe it comes from my poorly-chosen thread title, implying that if one doesn't do it this way then he or she is wrong.

So it's been four years and this adjustment works quite nicely for me. As someone pointed out more recently it does suck for backing up, and I do bring the adjustment back to skim the sides of the car when backing in to a tight spot. And then the mirrors go right back to being aimed farther away from the sides.

Give it a shot - if it works, great. If not, go back to how you've done it in the past. All I know is that had I not seen this article then I wouldn't have come upon this method that works better for me.

Edit: this is not a replacement for checking the blindspot directly. It's more of a two-step process wherein the blindspot is checked twice: once using the mirrors to see if it might be okay to go, and then turning over your shoulder for a direct peek if the mirrors indicate you're probably clear.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:57 AM   #71 (permalink)
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hi

Got this
Babies R Us 2-Pack Baby View Mirror - Babies R Us - Babies "R" Us
to look at my kid behind, and interestingly if positioned right covers most of the blind spots(besides the kid)... especially on the right... side..
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:01 AM   #72 (permalink)
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I tend to adjust the mirrors a bit tighter toward the car when in the city. It's better for parking, the risks associated with passing are much less, and the slower speeds just make for a very different situation. But when out on the highway I do it as recommended here. Remote control makes this so easy; it's not the way it used to be.

There might be miniscule blind spots, but I've found that none of them is greater than a car length. So I always have an uninterrupted view of the existence of something the size of a car from rear view mirror to side mirror to peripheral vision, without turning my head and--in many cases--without even turning my eyes.

This procedure is also endorsed by the Car Talk Guys!
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:26 AM   #73 (permalink)
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I position my mirrors in this way. I sit in the driver's seat, lean slightly left and adjust the left mirror to where I see just the edge of the rear fender. Same for the right. The result is that when I'm sitting in the driver's seat as I normally would drive, I do have just about a 360 degree view. This is the result:

A car is behind me, either in lane to my left, behind, or lane to the right. As soon as that car gets close enough and almost leaves the rear view mirror, I can see it in my side mirrors. There IS overlap, it doesn't disappear. As it leaves the side mirror, I can see it in my peripheral vision. I always have a visual of some part of the car. Some bikes and smaller cars might not overlap. I still shoulder check, but this mirror set up is a no-duh when it comes to keeping a good check on cars around you. It doesn't eliminate the common sense of shoulder checks or other glances, but it does eliminate the glaring blind spot so many people drive with. It also has made me aware of HOW blind some folks drive when their mirrors are pointed too much at their car and they think that covers enough. If I wanted to, I could drive just off of my mirrors. Last thing, for backing up, yea it's nice to see the vehicle, but really the mirrors help me personally with aligning the car to what I'm trying to align with or make sure I don't hit. Anything else, I'll just turn and get an actual visual. In that case, the mirrors still tell me see what's back there and where it's at.

As a side note, a lot of newer car designs result in POOR visibility in the windows for sake of sleek lines/design. My wife and I noticed this recently when car shopping and renting. What the deuce?
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:01 PM   #74 (permalink)
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12 year riding motorcycles , i never trust my mirrors . always look over my shoulders
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:26 AM   #75 (permalink)
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I tried this method yesterday and am on the fence about whether or not I like it. I have definitely been conditioned to shoulder check as well as mirror check, but with weather conditions like the snow we have been getting today, I can see that being detrimental. I don't know if I will ever be able to fully trust myself to NOT shoulder check though.
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