The Truth About Blind Spots
For $1,595, Ford will sell you a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) which uses radar to detect vehicles approaching your “blind spot.” But, as Christopher Jensen points out at the New York Times, blind spots don’t have to exist in the first place. Summarizing an SAE paper on blind spot safety, he explains how to get rid of the pesky things.
“The driver leans his head against the driver’s window and sets the mirror so that the side of the vehicle is just visible. Then, the driver leans to the middle of the vehicle (between the front seats) and does the same thing with the passenger-side mirror.”
Better yet, he gets Ford’s chief safety engineer Steve Kovaks to basically admit that the system is largely useless. “If we could train everyone in the United States to do it that way, then I think we would probably be a lot better and we wouldn’t need a system like this,” he says. Especially considering that “an elegant and inexpensive solution” already exists for the problem of blindspots. BlindZoneMirror uses mirror-lens inserts to provide good blind-spot vision when tailored to a specific vehicle. The best part? It was invented by the guy who wrote the SAE paper cited above. One thing it won’t do is provide an opportunity to show off your cars ability to perform unnecessary tasks in a slick, high-tech fashion. Which is why it costs less than $1,500, and why it will probably never be as intriguing to new car buyers.
'Idiocracy' the movie seems to be prognosticating where we're headed as a society. I'm sure they'll supplement this blind spot monitoring system with some form of exterior air bag, to keep the paint from rubbing, in case the side windows, rearview & sideview mirrors, and blind spot monitoring system don't do the trick.
I have been reading all of theses posts about blind spot mirrors and I am amazed at the feedback from everyone's take on what does and does not work. There is a Blind spot mirror that will blow some of these $1500.+ systems out of the water; called the "Automotive Blind Spot Safety System and Method". Google it! I read up on it and was intrigued. I think this guy is on to something BIG!