Driving without blind spot mirrors — especially in a crowded urban environment — can be a stressful experience. Whether you are trying to change lanes on the highway or looking to avoid cyclists and pedestrians on the street, being aware of your blind spots and the tools that can help overcome them is always useful. Some are easier than others to install, but taken together they can really improve your safety out on the road.
By far the easiest and most affordable safety solution is to install a set of stick-on blind spot mirrors. Once upon a time you really only saw these mirrors attached to trucks and SUVs towing trailers, as they offer a full view of the area immediately alongside and to the rear of a vehicle. But these days some car companies are making them available as factory options integrated into the stock side mirrors. Don’t worry if your automobile didn’t come with a set, it’s simple to peel off the adhesive backing of an aftermarket set and stick them to your existing mirror glass.
Full Panoramic Rear View Mirror
Another popular option for blind spot mirrors is to replace your standard rear view mirror with a panoramic or wide-angle unit. These mirrors come in two types: those that swap in to replace your existing rear view, or those that slide over the current mirror and use it as a mounting point. With a larger angle of reflection, these mirrors can show you not just what’s behind your car, but beside it as well. There’s a reason why they are so popular in racing, and that same innovation can be applied to your personal vehicle.
Wireless Backup Camera
Sometimes you need more help than what blind spot mirrors can offer. Enter the wireless backup camera, a smart piece of technology that can be attached to the rear of your vehicle to handle the blind spot you have to deal with when reversing or hitching up a trailer. These units come with small LCD screens that you can mount inside the cabin of your vehicle to display a clear image of the area immediately behind your car or truck while backing up, and they are far less complicated to install than one might think. This is one safety upgrade that is so effective it will surely become standard issue for all vehicles sooner rather than later.
If you employ one or all of the methods listed above, you should be able to keep yourself and those driving around you much safer.
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Photo courtesy of MorgueFile
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.