About six weeks ago I hurt my neck at work. I’ve had limited mobility and have been in physical therapy for the last few weeks. Of all the things that are hardest to do is to check my blind spots when I’m driving. Turning my neck to see that spot my mirrors miss is very painful! But the alternative is much worse so I carefully crane my neck when switching lanes.
Blind Spot Safety
A blind spot is the area 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, the areas toward 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.
In the past few years, automakers have begun to develop and perfect systems that use special mirrors combined with radar or video cameras to try to compensate for accident-causing blind spots, overall increasing blind spot safety
Ford will be fitting its new innovation, the Blind Spot Mirror, on to various Ford, Mercury and Lincoln models as standard equipment. The mirror has an integrated convex spotter mirror aimed directly at the vehicle’s blind spot (it shows the blind spots in the outside upper corners), and the monitoring system has radar, which alerts the driver about cross-path traffic.
Volvo XC70’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) senses when a vehicle in the next lane is approaching or in the area you can’t see in your side mirrors. It works on either side of the car, and a red warning light comes on near the mirror on the appropriate side to let you know.
General Motors’ Side Blind Zone Alert system, available in certain Cadillac and Buick models, also uses radar to scan the rear and sides of the vehicle. The system sweeps outward 11 1/2 feet to the sides and 16 feet to the rear. A vehicle in the blind-spot zone will cause a light embedded in the mirror to illuminate. When the directional signal is used, the light flashes amber.
Hopefully, as technology advances, devices such as these will help protect drivers and prevent accidents. And blind spots will no longer be a pain in the neck for drivers, especially me!