Ever since we learned to drive, we wondered why sideview mirrors couldn’t be adjusted to avoid the blind spot that causes so many accidents, and kept us awkwardly looking over our shoulder to see if any cars were hiding in it. We never actually tried seeing if we could adjust the mirror, testing out possible solutions; we just went with the accepted wisdom. Until recently, when we read the about Society of Automotive Engineers’ simple solution to the blind spot issue, published in Car and Driver, that flies in the face of what has been considered gospel truth for ever:
“The paper advocates adjusting the mirrors so far outward that the viewing angle of the side mirrors just overlaps that of the cabin’s rearview mirror. This can be disorienting for drivers used to seeing the flanks of their own car in the side mirrors. But when correctly positioned, the mirrors negate a car’s blind spots. This obviates the need to glance over your shoulder to safely change lanes as well as the need for an expensive blind-spot warning system.”
The diagram above shows the simple shift.
Our big takeaway is that the experts – and accepted wisdom – ARE NOT always right. We question a lot (making our kitchen cabinets way deeper than the usual, making a “built-in tub” a modernist free-standing one after we saw that it had feet) and that questioning is one of the themes of ‘the improvised life’. We love this spectacular example.
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