The vexed question of Wing mirrors


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 5 Oct 2005, 2:31pm

i believe all vehicles must have either an interior mirror or a nearside one.

I think you are right there.It would be great if all buses and lorries had a cctv all round rear view,
but cost may be prohibitive. Somebody would make them cheaper if it became law.

You could mount them in the rear lights near AND off side. There are some pretty cool systems about these days.

Saying all this Drivers are s'posed to be looking where they are going, not where they have been.............. and saying that reminds me.........
I m concerned with the external danger to cyclists of the machinery not with the motorists ability to see where he has already been.

Even when you are changning lanes eiyther inwards or outwards on a motorway, it is still the responsibility of the vehicle further back to look where he is going..

The same principal applies to clipping cyclists round the ear with a wing mirror. Motorists should be looking where they are going, including where the the wing mirror is going.

It is because they are looking where they
have been thru the mirror that they do not
see ahead of them to where the cyclists are.

This is all good highway code stuff.
So many people blame the man in front if they crash into him, but it is ALWAYS ENTIRELY AND COMPLETELY the fault of the upcoming driver from the rear if there is a crash. ALWAYS, even in different lanes.


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 5 Oct 2005, 2:41pm

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

There have ben regs in the past forbidding these vehicles from overtaking. What has happened to those regs?

Secondly could all that be done with (C)CTV cameras at the back of the vehicle..... to monitor the kerb distance?

Again cyclists who draw along the nearside have only got themselves to blame, if they are not seen, because according to the principle of the highway code, THEY are the upcoming vehicle.
If the cyclist is already the front vehicle then he must hold his own the same as any other vehicle.

It would be hard to design vehicles to provide for other people's wrong doing.


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby GreenArrow » 6 Oct 2005, 7:34pm

Glad to see someone else has actually driven a vehicle without rear view... My van does have a rear-view mirror... but unfortunately the solid bulkhead (installed by my employer for H&S reasons to stop me getting clouted by my load in event of a crash) makes it a little difficult to see out the back window;). As with all "H&S" installations, unauthorised removal constitutes a disciplinary offence as it technically breaches H&S law...

Gar, I find that the drivers of vans/HGVs/commercials tend to be better (in general now) at judging distances from nearside than the SUV drivers... (on whom be all curses and plagues) only exception to latter in my area being those towing horseboxes. Trouble is, even WITH rear view mirror, all road vehicles have a series of blind-spots (door pillars etc), IMHO it's the awareness of the driver to his blind-spots- usually a product of attitude + experience- that counts. More mirrors can create false sense of security, bit like airbags ("doesn't matter if I hit the other vehicle 'cos I'll survive").

I tried for ages to wonder why I get better clearance on my (low) trike... I think it's to do with perception, if we see something we don't recognise we look again, if we see a thing we subconsciously recognise as "harmless" the brain doesn't take so much attention.

Isn't that one of the reasons young drivers have more accidents- good car handling skills coupled to poor hazard awareness?

Maybe any would-be car driver should do a minimum mileage on a cycle first...?


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 7 Oct 2005, 9:36pm

Or provide a free collapsible with every vehicle


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 11 Oct 2005, 6:26pm

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

I was using both Motorbike and push bike for a while and the habit of going on the outside as a motorbiker began to have its effect on my push biking.

On one occasion I came out of Westminster hall, took the outside lane in wet weather and aquaplaned on my pushbike right into the path of an accelerating bus which did not see me even after the close call.

I have been grateful ever since to a car driver
who saw what was happening to me and slowed down to allow me to rebalance myself by pushing on his car, and avoiding certain death beneath the wheels of the bus. The corner of Parliament square is a veritable race track at that time of evening and a starting grid at the traffic lights.

I NEVER use(d) the outside lane for a push bike but always did for a motorbike. There are very crucial differences between the two functions.

If you hear from that motorist, a gentleman who gave me the most charming smile that a man could ever give to a cyclist at such a time, perhaps you will thank him that the rest of my life is still available to me, however long or little it may be.


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 12 Oct 2005, 8:10pm

Bike imprint

Instead, he lay seriously injured at the side of the road in the village of Newbridge for up to 22 minutes until he was found by another driver.

Paramedics arrived and worked for half an hour to revive him, but he was later pronounced dead at Southampton General Hospital.

Mr Morris' bike left an imprint in Mr Cottrell's Mazda car, debris was littered across the road and the wing mirror also came off, the court heard.

The prosecution said the day after the crash Mr Cottrell took his car to be repaired, but police officers had already found the wing mirror and knew it was from a Mazda vehicle.

They contacted a Mazda parts depot and discovered which garage ordered a new mirror, which led them to arrest Mr Cottrell.
November last year

The trial continues.

See the other thread story re Interesting news story Alf Tupper


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 12 Oct 2005, 8:25pm

Thanks to Alf Tupper for the news story to examine.

So he did not stop because it did not seem very serious and I am adding "No Because it was only the wing mirror" but the cyclist was dead on arrival.


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 14 Oct 2005, 6:47pm

I have done a google interactive search into the likely area of the accident. It is absolutely notorious for things jumping out at you from the trees, even shadows jumping out at you.

A publican was probably going to a Bowls match at another pub along a fairly rural road.

His wing mirror broke off when he hit a well illuminated/fressed cyclists on the edge of the road.

It is likely that the cyclist died from Traumatic
sleep induced by being on the side of the road with a broken limb for some time with no help.
If an injured person falls "asleep" it can be very difficult to rouse them from the unconscious state. On his own for 25 minutes that would very likely have happened.

If the Bowls player had stopped staright away instead of counting his own skin, and his sobriety, the cyclist would probably not have died.

The accident may not have been caused by the motorist, onb account fo the poor cycling conditions in the area. That is the judgement was made by an expert.

Whether there was any "Perverting of Justice"
is doubtful; this may merely be a press story.

If the address above is the one of the Car driver perhaps Local Hampshire DA should hold a meet there in aid of the CTC HQ charity, and get a big donation from behind the bar, unless he does a runner.

We do do road safety work and this will help to avoid further accidents in the future, which presumably the Bowls player would like to avoid?

May our fellow cyclist rest in peace.
Happy cycling!


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby GreenArrow » 15 Oct 2005, 3:35pm

Not just a question of a big donation: if he hasn't already lost his driving license, he should, as a token of his apology, surrender his driving licence until he is capable of driving competently. This includes knowing he has hit someone and stopping as the law demands. There really is NO excuse for his behaviour.

Age is not a mitigating factor, if someone is too old/infirm to drive safely then they shouldn't- driving a ton of metal around at speeds of up to 70mph is a privilege, NOT a right. Maybe when our politicians wake up to this, we'll get some sensible driving measures.

I fail to understand how ANY competent driver could not realise that to lose a mirror implies you've hit something hard and to stop.

IMHO if you lose a mirror you're going too fast. Also, familiarity breeds contempt, like the guy who pulled out of a pub car-park into another passing vehicle, told the police he didn't look as he'd been coming out of there every night for the past 10 years at the same time and there was never any other vehicle there...


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 15 Oct 2005, 4:52pm

surrender his driving licence until he is capable of driving competently

That would be a life ban, not life lock up but life ban.

We still do not know the basis of the Perverting the course of justice charge.

It may be a way of publicly flagging a substantial payment to the family. These may be masonic matters, as is so ofen the case with publicans. It can be rather difficult for the defendant to pay out whilst charges are against the defendant. Manslaughter is manslaughter prima facie, not a matter of buying oneself out of it, as he may have done.

He may still have the "buying out the relatives charges to deal with", even though he has paid.

It does seem to be a very local parochial matter if not the adjacent parish; local cyclist ; local publican.


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gav » 17 Oct 2005, 12:31am

Once whilst driving a van I was pulling into the side of the road. Having checked my mirrors and started indicating a few seconds in advance I began to manoeuvre into the curb. Because I was monitoring my nearside wing mirror I was able to see the cycle courier who at the last split second decided to undertake, why he didn’t go round the right-hand side I don’t know. If it hadn’t been for my nearside mirror I would have squashed him so thanks to nearside mirrors there is one less cycling casualty.


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 17 Oct 2005, 8:42am

Ah Well perhaps he saw you looking in to your wing mirror to see if he was there, knew that you were and decided.


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gav » 17 Oct 2005, 11:12pm

A few months ago I was reading a fleet management magazine (I don’t recall it’s name) whilst waiting at a reception to pick up a van. One article was about vehicle mirrors and concerns over visibility and mirror collision with pedestrians, cyclists, etc. Unfortunately I don’t remember the precise details of the article but it covered putting more mirrors on vehicles to help remove blind spots. An advantage of having more mirrors is that the array can be fitted higher on the vehicle, you have probably seen many lorries and coaches where the mirrors are away above head height. They also mentioned CCTV systems which of course are already used on many vehicles. I have seen the refuse collection lorries in Edinburgh with cameras covering various aspects of the lorry. Of course camera systems are probably not as technically reliable as a mirror. Since first reading this thread when ever I have been out driving I have kept thinking what it would be like without a nearside mirror. I would certainly get fitter whilst manoeuvring larger vehicles with having to get out then running round to check my blindside before running back to the drivers seat.


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 18 Oct 2005, 8:08am

Thanks for that gav; interesting.

The more mirrors there are; the more shunt accidents there will be perhaps?

Our concern is the effect of nearside wing mirrors
on cycliists and accidents caused thereby.

I wonder how much of the wing mirror would have to come into contact with the cyclist, for it to do serious damage. There would have to be a speed difference of say 25 mph. Clothing would have an effect on the effect.

Do they do mock up cycle accidents the same way they do for car accidents before they decide on new design.....for cars?


Re:The vexed question of Wing mirrors

Postby gar » 18 Oct 2005, 12:19pm

Also the installation of extra indicators on the end of the wing mirrors, as an extra indicator viewing place for cyclists and motorbikers is probably reactionary and not useful.

It is bound to have more potential sharp edges, and does not have to be repaired to be roadworthy, so if
it were a wing mirror confrontation expert he would soon break it and it would soon be that much more lethal to the cyclist.
Plus ca change.. plus c'est la meme chose with that one I am afraid!

The possibilities of CCTV are well worth discussing though.

How many vehicle manufacturers install them and is there any chance of installation on ornery saloon cars?

The eye/head position for rear viewing would still have to be adjusted to get a proper view, without losing sight of the road ahead.
(Look where you are going not where you have been.)
One thing, those numerous women and some men, who comb their hair and admire themselves in the mirror as they go along , would not have the opportunity to do so, with CCTV; this would reduce accidents but may not
have much effect on the bicycle population.

If it were a fish hook lens, which could take scewed views, then the mounting of the camera
might well save cyclists from accidents.

If cyclists fearful of the car mirror put little flags that stick out on their bicycle to scratch cars which get too close, that would be very valuable indeed in terms of cycling road safety.

nearside wing mirrors are there partly to knock the hell out of people so why not play the same game, with a paint damaging scratcher?