Distracted driving tops the reasons contributing to car crashes and accidents. Failure to yield/merge a vehicle without proper focus can lead to drastic on-road consequences, including fatal car crashes. Also, with a rapidly increasing pace of motor vehicles on the road, it has become difficult to operate vehicles, especially bigger ones. Blind spot mirrors are among the top aftermarket car accessories that have made drivers’ lives easier.
- Car Blind Spot
- Blind Spot Mirrors
- Blind Spot Mirrors For Car
- Blind Spot Mirror Sensor
- Blind Spot Sensors Installation Near Me
Blind spot mirrors help enhance the road/surrounding visibility and ensure safety from fatal on-road consequences. So, if you value your life – and the lives of those around you – it is imperative to drive with proper focus and attention.
Drivers should always remain alert behind the wheel, and that includes frequently checking their mirrors before yielding/merging lanes. So blind spots exist to make lane-changing easier and less terrifying.
With that said, let’s see how convenient different blind spot mirrors can be for drivers.
Car Blind Spot
Simply put, a car blind spot is that specific region (or zone) around the vehicle that the human eye may neglect while driving. So, a car blind spot can limit the amount of vision available to the driver and can be identified in several ways. For instance, too thick A, B, and C pillars or long/wide vehicle bodies can restrain peripheral vision, hence creating blind spots.
Other factors may also affect a car’s blind spot and limit the visibility available to the driver. For instance, driver seat adjustment, vehicle ride height, and driver height are some of the factors that may create blind spots for the driver.
We know that the human eye can’t produce a complete 360° viewing angle. An eye’s retina receives light and emits it to the brain in the form of signals, which is why we can see. However, some parts of the retina fail to receive and emit the signals to the brain, hence blind spots.
Visibility can play an important role in the way you drive. Limited visibility of one’s surroundings can trick the brain into thinking otherwise and cause road mishaps. So, the better the visibility, the better the driver can assess the road.
Nowadays, car manufacturers try their best to provide drivers with adjustable side/rear-view mirrors, thin car frame pillars, and sensors. To some extent, these features work as they highlight some of the driver’s blind spots.
But, no matter the features, blind spots still exist. Even with features such as Blind Spot Monitoring, you would still have to look over your shoulders for a better viewing angle.
Blind Spot Mirrors
To reduce blind spots and to make the job of the driver easier, blind spot mirrors are installed on the vehicle’s side-view/rear-view mirrors. Blind spot mirrors are small convex-like mirrors that highlight a somewhat larger and broader vision of the blind spots compared to normal (flat) side-view mirrors.
In most cases, blind spot mirrors go on different areas on the side-view mirrors, and, in some cases, they go on rear-view mirrors.
Therefore, a blind spot mirror gives the driver a clear picture of the surroundings. Blind spot mirrors primarily focus on those areas that side/rear view mirrors cannot cover. Blind spot mirrors come in different sizes, shapes, and types. Nevertheless, they all provide the same function: highlighting the driver’s blind spots and helping reduce driving errors.
For some, adjusting the side-view mirrors can work in showing the blind spots. But, others find more comfort and ease in blind spot mirrors. Luckily, many brands offer different blind spot mirrors that fit the exact requirements of drivers. But, choosing the right one for yourself can be quite a hectic task due to the varying needs of different drivers.
Nonetheless, we have compiled all the different types of blind spot mirrors that you can install on your car. And, to make the decision easier for you, we will be focusing on the best ways you can benefit from the different types of blind spot mirrors.
Blind Spot Mirrors For Car
To make their cars safe and easy to drive, all manufacturers are rushing toward providing safety features and sensors. Features such as Blind Spot Monitoring and Lane Keeping Assist come standard in almost every vehicle you see on roads today, including mass-produced Corollas. But, not all cars have such features and have to rely on an aftermarket accessory, such as a blind spot mirror, to do the job.
Below are the types of blind spot mirrors you can install in your vehicle:
Round/Square Blind Spot Mirrors
These 2-inch blind spot mirrors can be categorized as some of the most common blind spot mirrors. Because of their petite design and fit, they don’t take up much space in the side view mirrors. Also, they can be grabbed for less than $15, making them extremely popular amongst drivers. In addition, you can choose from different-shaped mirrors, including squares, that can fit perfectly on your side mirrors.
These convex-shaped blind spot mirrors go directly on the vehicle’s side view mirrors. Also, the exact location might depend on individual preference. For instance, those looking to highlight their outer blind spots can install the blind spot mirror on the outermost side of the side-view mirror(s).
Meanwhile, those looking to save their wheels from curbing can install the blind spot mirror in the innermost section of the side-view mirror. Plus, their petite design and fit don’t take up much space in the side-view mirrors, making it less confusing for the driver.
The most reputable brands offer adjustable blind spot mirrors that can be modified to different angles, depending on individual preferences. A 30-degree angular adjustment can provide the driver with an even more realistic representation of their blind spots. According to customer reviews, most drivers only look for those blind spot mirrors that come with adjustable settings.
Most 2-inch blind spot mirrors have an anti-glare feature, which is worth it and can make all the difference. The petite blind spot mirrors coupled with angular adjustments and anti-glare features can make merging lanes easier and safe.
Long/Wide Angle Blind Spot Mirrors
These blind spot mirrors are the same as the 2-inch round blind spot mirrors but with a wider/longer lens. The long-angled mirror covers a wider field of vision and takes up more space on the side-view mirrors than other blind spot mirrors. So, they are perfect for vehicles with longer/wider wheelbases, such as trucks and SUVs.
Even though they can be installed on vehicles with smaller wheelbases, that would mean sacrificing a lot of room in the side-view mirrors. So, the vision may get obstructed, which can cause serious consequences.
In most cases, long-angled blind spot mirrors come equipped with an angular adjustment for the varying needs of different drivers. Also, most of them come with an anti-glare feature, which can make driving less frustrating – especially at night.
Because of their wider lens, these blind spot mirrors can more clearly cover the outer blind spots. Also, most wide blind spot mirrors can be adjusted up and down depending on the driver’s preferences.
However, you’d be wrong to assume that wide blind spot mirrors can only be installed on the side-view mirrors. Some blind spot mirrors can also go on the car’s B-pillars. So, the mirror acts as a visual aid for the rear passengers before they exit the car.
Such blind spot mirrors can be extremely helpful for children who can easily judge the surrounding traffic in their blind spots before exiting the car. Also, because of their wide design, they don’t take up much space on the B-pillars. As a result, the driver’s vision is not obstructed.
Adjustable Dual Blind Spot Mirrors
If one blind spot mirror wasn’t enough for you, how about two? Yes, they make your car look ugly but you can’t prioritize looks over safety. These dual (or universal) blind spot mirrors can cover two blind spots at the same time, thus making them extremely convenient. Some of them go on the driver’s opposite front fender side. Meanwhile, others can be installed right underneath (or over) the side-view mirrors.
Thanks to their ‘dual-mirror’ design, these mirrors can highlight the driver’s outer blind spots and the front wheel’s placement. By knowing exactly where the front wheels are going you can save your wheels from curbing during parking.
In addition, the mirror focusing on the vehicle’s tire patch can also indicate to the driver whether they’re inside the lane or not. So, if you are a beginner and are learning to drive, these dual blind spot mirrors are worth your every penny.
Also, they are excellent tools for parking vehicles, especially bigger ones. Prominent examples of pre-installed dual blind spot mirrors can be found on the front fenders of most Land Cruiser models.
However, according to customer reviews, the mirror offers slightly less visibility to the drivers because of the tightly-packed mirrors. Moreover, others have complained about the size being too small with less angular adjustment. Nevertheless, the mirror has helped many drivers, beginners or otherwise, with its useful and quirky design.
Rear-View Blind Spot Mirrors
If side-view blind spot mirrors are not your thing, then rear-view blind spot mirrors won’t disappoint you. A blind spot rear-view mirror replaces the stock rear-view mirror with a wider and slightly convex mirror lens. In return, the mirror provides the driver an in-depth 180-degree viewing angle with major blind spots covered.
The rear-view blind spot mirror is a massive help in reducing the major blind spots covered by the vehicle’s C-pillars. So, instead of just providing a rear-view to the driver, they also make help the drivers judge their surroundings more easily.
Several brands offer several different-designed rear-view blind spot mirrors with compelling and unique features. Some provide curved mirror lenses whilst others provide much wider and flat mirror lenses that consume more space than others.
Moreover, you can also replace your factory rear-view mirror with a wide LCD-panel rear-view mirror. Such mirrors are great in vehicles that offer a slightly cramped and obstructed field-of-view to the driver. Also, because these LCD-panel rear view mirrors involve no mirrors, the glare from sunlight and high beams are massively reduced.
However, the LCD-panel rear-view mirror is a tad more expensive than a traditional blind spot mirror. Also, it tends to take up more space in the dash, which can obstruct the driver’s view ahead.
Active Blind Spot Monitoring
A blind spot mirror sensor, also known as Blind Spot Monitoring is a safety feature that uses ultrasonic sensors to alert the driver of any obstructions in their blind spots. Two sensors located on either end of the rear bumpers use signals to assess any traffic/obstruction in the driver’s blind spots.
The sensors then throw a warning light on the side-view mirrors to indicate that the driver’s blind spots aren’t clear, hence it’s not safe to merge. Blind spot sensors use warning signs instead of mirrors, which are more effective and easier to notice than (blind-spot) mirrors. So, not only do they improve your reaction time, but also increase your alertness behind the wheel.
As the car world keeps progressing, more and more car manufacturers are beginning to realize its importance. Nowadays, almost all new vehicles that roll out of the factory, including Toyota Corollas, have such a feature,
With that said, if your car doesn’t come with such a feature (factory-installed), you can also opt for aftermarket Active Blind Spot Monitoring kits. Compared to traditional blind spot mirrors, blind spot sensors are expensive and can cost you more than $300 for better (and safe) versions.
Also, if you’re in the market for blind spot sensors, strictly stay away from inferior-quality and cheap blind spot sensors. Cheap sensors can put your life at risk and can cause serious consequences for you and those around you.
With that said, if you are unable to afford blind spot sensors, you can always go for a blind spot mirror. A blind spot mirror is 10 times cheaper than sensors and you can always expect it to work like a charm.
Blind Spot Sensors Installation Near Me
Although you can install blind spot sensors by yourself, many recommend getting professional guidance. Installing aftermarket blind spot sensors requires sound technical knowledge and a few precautionary measures, which are easy to forget.
Steps like measuring and calibrating might not be a piece of cake for everyone. Plus, you are likely to mess up measurements and render the sensors useless, which is the last thing you’d want.
If you are looking to get blind spot sensors installed on your car, your priority should always be to get manufacturer-approved factory sensors. Chances are that your vehicle model already comes with the blind spot sensors; only that your vehicle doesn’t. Nevertheless, getting blind spot sensors installed from the manufacturer is the safest and most effective way to go.
However, if your vehicle’s manufacturer doesn’t provide the blind spot sensor installation service, then your best bet is to go with specialist mechanics or workshops. Before choosing the blind spot sensor for yourself, make sure to do extensive research on the chosen sensor like reading Amazon comments and customer reviews.
Similarly, you should strictly keep a safe distance from low-quality and cheap sensors, which can be life-taking instead of life-saving.
Blind Spot Mirrors: Facts You Need to Know
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 840,000 accidents annually due to driver’s blind spot.
- Blind spot mirrors provide an extra view of the blind spot without turning the head away from the road.
- Stick-on variety is the most widely available blind spot mirror that attaches to side mirrors.
- The best place to put blind spot mirrors is usually the side of the mirror farthest from the vehicle.
- Adhesive used in blind spot mirrors is strong, so test the mirror position before removing the protective layer.
- Blind spot mirrors help drivers spot pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles on the road.
- Blind spot mirrors are highly affordable and can be easily found online or in stores.
- Fisheye mirrors compress reflections towards the edges of the mirror due to their shape.
- Concave mirrors are curved mirrors that focus light and are often used to help motorists see around corners.
- To remove a blind spot mirror from a car, use a hairdryer or chemical adhesive remover and a razor blade or dental floss.
In this article, we saw how blind spots are created for drivers and what is done to tackle this issue. We also covered the different types of aftermarket blind spot mirrors that you can install on your vehicle to reduce blind spots. Finally, we learned the much more ‘modern’ solution for tackling driver blind spot areas – Blind Spot Monitoring Sensors.
We read how blind spot sensors compete against a blind spot mirror in terms of their price, practicality, and installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some popular FAQs:
Where To Put Blind Spot Mirrors
You’d be surprised to find the number of ways you can put a blind spot mirror on your vehicle. The exact location may vary from person to person. With that said, the best and most common place to put your blind spots is on your side-view mirrors. For example, you can install the (blind spot) mirror on the outermost side of the side mirror to highlight the outer blind spots. Similarly, you can choose to stick the mirror on the innermost section of the side mirror to aid parking. You can also place the blind spot mirror directly over the side-view mirror with the help of clips. Likewise, you can also replace the rear-view mirror with a blind spot rear-view mirror. So, the choices and permutations are never-ending. Nevertheless, the placement should be at an angle that gives an accurate representation of the driver’s blind spots.
How To Remove Blind Spot Mirrors
To avoid the blind spot mirror from randomly falling off, brands provide the mirror with a strong stick-on adhesive. Removing the adhesive with proper care is highly recommended. Failure in doing so can cause permanent damage to the side-view mirrors. To safely remove the blind spot mirror from its place you’ll be needing some materials like floss, scissors, (soft) cloth, and WD-40. First of all, spritz some WD-40 around the edges of the blind spot mirror. Next, cut some floss that is enough to grip your hand from either hand, Now, carefully and slowly pull your way through the adhesive sticking the blind spot mirror to the side mirror. During the tugging process, keep spraying the WD-40 where necessary. Eventually, the blind spot mirror should come right off. Finally, with the help of a towel, wipe off the adhesive remains to clear the side-view mirror.
How To Install Blind Spot Mirrors
Once you’ve decided where to put the blind spot mirror, the next step should be installing it. First and foremost, mark the place of the blind spot mirror with a marker. Now, begin the precautionary measures, which include cleaning the side mirror(s) with a cleaner fluid and letting it dry. Next, remove the stick-on adhesive paper wrapping the blind spot mirror. Now, simply place the blind spot mirror onto the side-view mirror and apply gentle pressure. Next, simply hold the blind spot mirror in place for about 30 seconds to make sure that the mirror is in its place. Now, you’re good to go. To double check, you can also refer to the instruction manual given alongside the blind spit mirrors. Also, remember not to wash the car for a couple of days as it may weaken the mirror’s stick-on adhesive. Now, repeat the same for the other side-view mirror.
Where Is The Largest Blind Spot On Your Vehicle
The largest blind spot on your vehicle is located on the vehicle’s C-pillar (or either side of the rear passenger). Most modern cars – especially SUVs – come with big rear quarters, which makes it extremely hard to focus on the blind spots. The blind spot makes drivers look over their shoulders while merging lanes or parking. Although looking over your shoulders can be safe on some occasions; however, that’d mean taking your eyes off the road. Eventually, distracted driving can cause drastic consequences for you and others around you. Blind spot mirrors and sensors exist to tackle blind spots. Blind spot mirrors and sensors highlight the blind spots covered by the vehicle’s rear quarters and help the driver judge the surrounding traffic more easily.
Can You Add Blind Spot Monitoring To A Car
Yes, you can add safety features like (Active) Blind Spot Monitoring to your car. Several cheap and inferior-quality blind spot sensors may appeal to you with their low price. However, for the sake of reliability, you should strictly not fall into that trap and instead, go for expensive ones. A good-quality Blind Spot Monitoring Sensor kit can set you back by about $400 – $600, while inferior-quality sensors can cost you less than $200. However, you can bring the cost down by installing the sensors at home only if you have professional guidance. Therefore, the safest and most effective way to install blind spot sensors on your car is through specialist mechanics/workshops. With that said, you should also do your research before adding a Blind Spot Monitoring kit to your vehicle by reading customer reviews and comments.