The vexed question of Wing mirrors

gar

The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 30 Jun 2005, 8:02am

I am on a recumbent now so you would think the vexed question of wing mirrors had gone away
but no such luck. I am inclined to use sidewalk/pavement wherever possible especially
where there is heavy traffic.

My problem now is CAR wing mirrors, on or off the sidewalk. A long flag bent outwards to give me more space is generally the answer. They don't mind clipping anybody round the ear (possibly fatal) but scratch their precious car
and they will keep half a mile distance.

Pity a sit up cyclist can't use a flag!

g

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 15 Sep 2005, 4:51pm

Round the ear'ole?
I should think he did stop!

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 16 Sep 2005, 8:32am

the truth of the matter is that with regard to general safety the inside wing mirror is bad safety design ,
possibly safe for car users but not for anybody else using the public highway at all, pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, the disabled anybody... but safer for car users, certainly not to promote safety for everybody.

Surprising really that it has not been rethought by vehicle designers and it is not a requirement that the inside mirror should be there for the MOT.

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 16 Sep 2005, 8:35am

I saw a motor cyclists killed once because a lorry driver was looking in his wing mirror and did not
see thru the mirror to the mc'ist.

That was the offside miror bigger image than the Motorcyclists himself. Just went straight into him and squashed him flat. Dead

Marc

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby Marc » 16 Sep 2005, 6:34pm

gar

here in Swindon last month a man was seriuosly injured when hit from behind by a lorry mirror.

Marc

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 18 Sep 2005, 8:49am

There is a consensus here for helmets against lorry wing mirrors, if you think you are going to get near lorry wing mirrors anyway.

The offside mirrors are using for casual jousting between motorists on narrow lanes, which are heavily used, but they are absolutely essentail for good rear viewing, and it is car for car damage,
knock for knock.

The nearside wing mirror is NOt a requirement of the MOT and car builders should be encouraged NOt to make them part of the car
or vehicle, through danger to Cyclists and motor cyclists.

Road runner
Swindon man
Gar's dead M'c

Three examples collected in two days; how can there possibly be a rationalisation for designing them into road vehicles?

Horizon

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby Horizon » 30 Sep 2005, 9:48am

Wing mirrors are equally essential on both sides of the vehicle, I use them on my car probably more than my interior mirror. How else do you see the idiot trying to undertake you on the motorway, for instance (a practice becoming increasingly commonplace)? The issue surely is better design to make them safer on impact with something.

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 30 Sep 2005, 10:58am

Retractable things on cars are rather pricey are they not?
Otherwise we would have far more of them.

A cheaper wing mirror set would mean people paying less attention to not damaging them
overall.

The main cause of wing mirror breakage is
jousting with other cars on narrow roads
(like outside my home... littered with smashed wing mirrors at all times of the year).

Suggestions for better design of wing mirrors please!

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 30 Sep 2005, 2:11pm

There are various things about wing mirrors on both sides; one is that it is far better to clip something or someone with a wing mirror than it is with a wing.
Even the most foolish cqr driver does a subconsciuos measurement of an xtra 4 inches width on either side of the car because he does not want to pay in the pocket for a new mirror.
It saves the car from deeper scratches in that way.

All vehicles are fitted with nearside wing mirrors although the highway code does not require a nearside wing mirror.

If the inside mirror is fitted so that the viewer is not at any time looking at any part of his physiognomy, then the rear view from the inside of the cabin is perfectly adequate especially of the nearside lane when on an outside lane of a motorway.

However there are frequently obstructions to rear view from the nearside mirror such as people and luggage, so the mirror needs to be on the outside of the car.

Given the much lower frequency of heavy loads on the top of the car would it not be better to position the nearside lane wing mirror on the top of the car just above the existing interior rear view mirror?

Even so our other corresponent might well have been far more hurt by a clip from a car wing than he was by a clip from a wing mirror.

Pavement users are the ones most at risk as the mirror overlaps the pavement sometimes by as much as a metre. A periscope mirror would be much better. Lorry mirrors are heavy cumbersome and huge and for them to have an alternative to a nearside wing mirror would provide much more safety both.

I contest with the previous correspondent then that nearside wing mirrors should be fitted to all vehicles and it is my opinion that many more should have a periscope style inside rear mirror for viewing the nearside lanes on motorways and dual carriageway roads.

A number of road accidents to cyclists,pedestrians, and motor cyclists would be prevented if periscope style inside mirrors were fitted for choice to the vehicles of some
breeds of car.

Even heavy vehicles could well mount their heavy mirrors on the top of the cabin
for all round rear view, as well as the offside mirror

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 30 Sep 2005, 2:13pm

Please read above : from the inside mirror
not as below. It is crucial to the argument.

However there are frequently obstructions to rear view from the nearside mirror such as people and luggage, so the mirror needs to be on the outside of the car.

Tony Smith

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby Tony Smith » 30 Sep 2005, 2:21pm

Nearside mirrors are an important feature, particularly for large vehicles. The mirror should be used to maintain a constant distance from the kerb, as an aid to judging how much room to leave before overtaking and to monitor the vehicle being overtaken during the manouvre. It's also the only way to track what's going on around you when driving a blind sided vehicle (eg. a Van) or towing a trailer. When pulling off from traffic lights etc. the nearside mirror is essential for checking that a cyclist hasn't pulled up alongside before moving off.
Having said that I think most car drivers have no idea how to use mirrors and think their simply to check who's following them.
Anyone who regularly uses roads of varying width should appreciate my point about positioning. In Britain we drive on the left and should position oursleves a constant distance from the left hand edge of the road. Many people seem to be guided by the centreline!

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 30 Sep 2005, 5:04pm

should position oursleves a constant distance from the left hand edge of the road. Many people seem to be guided by the centreline!

There are so many different circumstances on the road that choosing either the kerb or the centre line
has to be a matter of driver's judgement. Outside my home there is no kerb and no centre line and drivers judge their progress by their distance from the oncoming car, which is why I just collected another piece of car nearside front light from the ditch. The road is not adequate for the traffic upon it and that includes any number of cyclists in the summer months.

That being as it may, why has no periscope method of rear viewing been considered for car
truck design... or is it just that a gentler spring is needed on the nearside mirror installation so that it slips out more easily than it does now when it hits a cyclist?!
Even a totally loose fitting going at 40mph compared with a cyclist going at 12mph provides an impact of 28mph a solid object
and possible serious injury.

It is not a legal requirement to have a nearside
mirror but it could be one to have a periscope
all round view mirror above either the drive or the passenger side on a great many cars and vans.

It may be considered ungainly but in fact no more so than one on each side, and probably no more wind resistance than the existing arrangement which must slow vehicles down too.

GreenArrow

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby GreenArrow » 4 Oct 2005, 7:15pm

Ever tried driving a van with blanked out rear screen? I drive a van for work, ride a recumbent trike for cycling/commuting around urban home area.

I must explain, in a van/HGV you NEED LHS wing mirrors for (a) noticing the idiot in the car who's sliding down your left on a roundabout, (b) pulling in safely on the m-way after overtaking a slower vehicle and (c) reversing/parking/basic manouvering. Even with them, the visibility is much more restricted than in a car. WRT requirements, I have a sneaking suspicion that if you don't have a rear-view mirror (ie blank rear), you must have a LHS wing mirror, but I'd have to check on that one.

OK, I'd much prefer cute little CCTV cameras from all angles, but they don't do them on vans yet. It's difficult enough persuading most fleet managers to get modern vans with the additional blind-spot mirrors... (they don't drive them).

From the cycling perspective, I've also commuted extensively in heavy traffic on both 2 wheels and 3, and never been hit on the head by a wing mirror... not even come close... but then, I don't sneak down the left (unless there is a bike lane) and I don't jump red lights either... if traffic is queueing, I go up the right with the motorbikes, not skulk down the left (faster too).

I take up an assertive position 2 - 3 feet out from the kerb (clear of drains) and maintain the line on the trike. I am treated with courtesy by most road users- the ones that pass close being the SUV drivers, NOT the HGVs or buses!

gar

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 5 Oct 2005, 7:33am

if you don't have a rear-view mirror (ie blank rear), you must have a LHS wing mirror,
-------I forget... are inside rear view mirrors not compulsory?

cute little CCTV cameras from all angles, but they don't do them on vans y
Do they do them on any vehicle?
That would save a lot of cyclists from injury
and Mcs too.

I go up the right with the motorbikes, not skulk down the left (faster too).

So do you go round the inside of the roundabout
in the middle? What do you do when you want to turn offf the roundabout... stick out your left hand and shout?!

Tony Smith

Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby Tony Smith » 5 Oct 2005, 2:06pm

Gar, As usual I can't work out if you're supporting or attacking my argument! The lack of a defined kerb/centreline etc. is irrelevant, my point being that the mirror is there to aid judgement of distance.
Green Arrow, you obviously understand my point from experience. I've driven a few HGVs and would be terrified to take to the road without a good set of nearside mirrors.
As for the legality i believe all vehicles must have either an interior mirror or a nearside one. If you have eg. a box van, horsebox, artic etc. you can't use the interior mirror even if fitted so have to have a nearside one. gar, before you point it out, interior mirrors on buses are to keep an eye on the passengers!