Here's how to upgrade your car to advanced rear vision blindspot management - without spending a cent
According to the Book of Revelation in the Bible of Busted Automotive Bullshit, blindspots do not actually exist - problematically for the designers of blindspot warning systems. At least, they don’t exist unless you manufacture them for yourself by getting the adjustment of the wing mirrors monumentally wrong…
...which most people do, because the standard of driver education is woeful in most countries. Parents who are crap drivers teach their kids to be crap drivers, like passing on some recessive gene.
THE REAR VIEW PROBLEM
When most people look at the rear-view mirror in traffic, here’s what they see:
The side of their own car. Which is pretty stupid when you think about it, because the side of your own car is not a threat. Not ever. It will never jump out and crash into you when you least expect it.
It’s always there, in the same place. Do you really need ongoing visual confirmation?
Imagine instead a sweeping panorama of rear vision where you can see everything approaching from the rear, to the side, in what you might traditionally think of as a blind spot.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could see everything to the rear, continuously, right up to the point where that potential rearward threat drew right up alongside you, and you see it out of the corner of your eye?
If they can put a man on the moon, how come they can’t manage this?
The fact is, they can, and they do - but we blow it as drivers by getting the mirrors adjusted monumentally wrong.
HOW YOU FIX IT (2 min. max.)
To prove this point, I did an experiment. I measured the width of two standard lanes, and hid a bright yellow RenaultSport Clio in a Tucson’s so-called blindspot. With the mirrors adjusted badly you cannot even see a car as prominent as the Clio unless you put your head on a swivel.
But if you extend the arc of rear view, by shifting the mirrors laterally out, these alleged blind spots just disappear. They don’t exist. You effectively turn them into ‘oh my God it’s a miracle - I can see’ spots.
STEP 1: Locate a landmark
And all you need to do to work this magic is: find a suitable landmark. I typically search for a suitable roadside hottie (or hotties).
Here, I used a print of Anna Latexia, the Italian Minister for recreation, seen here in collaboration with her close personal assistant, in a photograph taken from Silvio Berlusconi’s extensive private collection of such evocative works.
STEP 2: Get the overlap right
So what you do is, you find such a convenient landmark - or perhaps a road sign or tree, if there are no convenient partly-clothed hotties nearby. This visual landmark must be on the right edge of the central rear-view mirror, and then you just tweak the angle of the wing mirror so that this view is only just duplicated on the left edge of the wing mirror.
Thus the hotties slightly overlap. (Click the images above to see the hottie-overlap detail.)
And then you do the same on the other side: Corresponding hottie overlap - left and right edges respectively. It takes just a few seconds.
A politician could do this, hypothetically. Not some infinitely up-himself useless tennis-playing lawyer arsehole front-bencher who’s never had a real job … but a hard-working back-bencher might have vestigial hope. However, if you actually work for a living you’ll be fine with this procedure.
You are angling the wing mirrors out, to give you a contiguous panorama of driving revelation behind and to the side, in concert with the central rear vision mirror.
If there aren't any roadside hotties, you can also use trees, parked cars or signs.
STEP 3: Adapt to the difference
Sadly, you will no longer be able to see the side of your own car - but trust me, it’s still there. Hasn’t gone anywhere. Still not going to jump out and crash into you. It’s not going to wait for you to let your guard down, and then make some malicious move.
Visually, it’s going to feel somewhat strange. For a short while.
But the huge advantage here is that nothing can any longer approach you covertly from the four, five, six, seven or eight o’clock positions. Suddenly in terms of threat perception to the rear, it’s all glaringly obvious back there - to the extent that you are a complete bag o’ dicktips if you don’t do this.
The difference, as you can see, is only about 20 degrees of outward orientation of the mirrors. But that critical extra arc makes a profound difference to driving safely in traffic and on the highway.
With the mirrors adjusted properly, the rear of the yellow Clio is still visible on the edge of the wing mirror, and I can see the front of the car easily to the side. There is no blind spot - and the lateral separation here is one standard lane width. This is geometrically representative of actual driving in marked lanes.
Ignorance of this is one thing, but being too dumb to upgrade your driving to a superior method is absurd. Especially when changing the game up is so simple. The Frank Sinatra approach - doing it ‘your way’ - is not the rational option.
In fact, let us right now declare a global ‘imbecile’ amnesty on rear vision, where, if you promise to adjust those mirrors with the Minister Latexia ‘recreation in the shower’ hottie overlap in mind. I promise not to categorise you loosley in that intellectually retarded ‘catch-all’ manner. But only if you do it right now.
PRECISION REVERSING & PARKING
And, before I let you go, I can hear the whining from here … doubtless from some baby boomer, such abject whiners. I expect some halfwit Shitsvillian elder to tell me he needs to see the side of the car and the kerb in the mirror to park. And he can’t do that if he adjusts the mirrors ‘my’ way.
To this special flavour of respected elderly imbecile I would say: Really? If that’s your principal complaint, your reasoned assessment of my advice, your take on a proven advanced driving technique designed to prevent you from crashing at highway speeds, then I am profoundly sorry the education system has failed once again.
If you pull out to overtake, and you fail to see a car that you should see while it is overtaking you, claiming it was in your blind spot is something the court will not be interested in entertaining, vis-a-vis defence.
The wing mirrors are motorised on statistically every car. So adjust the damn things in and down to park if you must. But put them back to ‘cleanliness next to hotliness, latex overlap in the shower’ mode before pulling off. I know I always do. It’s always good to have a procedure for pulling off...
To the likes of Bosch and the car industry broadly, on blind spot monitoring systems I say: Well done. A commercial triumph - designing a high-priced microprocessor controlled warning system that ‘false positives’ like a 15-year-old, and marketing it on the false premise that blind spots are intrinsic to the design of your car.
Brilliant! Turning a non-existent problem into a real money-spinner. It would have been impossible to make any money out of a public education campaign on mirror adjustment. All that would do is make the roads safer. I mean, where’s the compelling reason to update the shitheap you currently drive? Don’t adjust the mirrors - buy a new car. Get with the program.
My work here is done. Blind spots are like Hell - neither exists, unless you manufacture them for yourself, here on earth. I’m looking at you, Barnaby Joyce.
This hygenic latex-hottie inspired overlap of the mirrors is the second-easiest advanced driving upgrade you will ever install on your own upstairs operating system. Seriously, give this a go - it’s easy, and let me know how it works for you in the comments feed below. Thanks for your interest in this post.