reohn2 wrote:And there are those that think a RVM is completely unnecessary on a bike.I beg to differ since first fitting one some 15(?) years ago I'd never go back to riding without one.
I must admit I sometimes have a mirror sometimes not. My last mirror died when the bike fell over 18 months ago and I'm still to replace it.
I don't buy the idea that they save lives, they're simply not good enough to differentiate between a last second move over and close pass and being clipped (particularly by a truck mirror) and even if they could by the time you've figured it out it's too late anyway.
Whilst I probably prefer cycling with one I figure a lot of the feeling of safety they infer is imagined rather than real.
The mirror argument has a lot in common with the helmet debate IMHO. "Common sense" suggests that they help you stay safe but in reality the picture is a little more complex. What one needs to understand is that looking back over ones shoulder is not just to see what is happening behind, it's to communicate with following vehicles. If the driver behind you can only see the back of your head they will probably assume that you are going in a straight line. If, on the other hand, you turn round and eye-ball them, they tend to hold back or give you more room as they think you are about to do something. Likewise, there is that thing in human nature that makes us less likely to do something dodgy if we know that someone has seen us (hence the cardboard cut-outs of coppers in shop windows) so looking at the driver following you underlines the fact that a) they have been seen and can be identified, and b) that you are a real live, vulnerable person not a faceless bike.
Thus, if we use a mirror to replace that look behind we are making things more dangerous for ourselves.
If, on the other hand we still do all of the looks but use the mirror to supplement them then fair enough.
And, before anyone says it, 'bents are a whole different kettle of fish, being so out of the ordinary that drivers already tend to give them more room and expect them to do weird things