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Oy vey. I get letters . . . including the one which follows, which I reproduce here, as delivered, followed by some dissection:

Sandy “writes”: i taught EXPERT drivers ed for decades—-not gov or insurance stuff.  What do u know bout blind spots i taught my 1200 kids a year that BLIND SPOTS were a scam and that a good mirror could eliminate the blind spot or at least do better than what we have now. without electronics HELP—LIBERTARIAN hombre

My dissection: Well, “hombre,” I figure I do know something about blind spots after having driven thousands of new cars over the past 25-plus years of test driving and reviewing them.

Blind spots aren’t always a function of mirrors. In many cases, they are the result of physical obstructions such as B and C pillars; also the cut/slant of side and rear glass. Also over-tall head restraints.

You’d know this, too – if you’d driven just about every make/model of vehicle made during the past quarter-century, as I have.

Certainly,  proper mirror adjustment is important. I never said otherwise. I also never said anything good about electronics “help” (I assume you refer to back-up cameras and blind spot detection systems).

And they ask me why I drink…

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  1. Sandy, get your ass over into a big rig. Try to drive it in multiple lane traffic when it’s busy and of course, have a destination so you have to move from lane to lane…..then tell me about the blind spot scam.

    I almost ran over a car in same circumstances in my pickup pulling a long trailer. Those fools that get right beside you and pace you but are “a scirt” of you or think they’re somehow safer riding the stripe to their right are idiots, plain and simple.

    Try this yourself sometime with one of the “fuel mileage rigs” that only has a narrow mirror on each side. They’re “spot” mirrors are a joke since they’re tiny things right at the bottom of the mirror. I suppose if you are Superman with X ray vision things will be fine. I run at least one big, as in 6″, spot mirror on each side. I’d rather have one top and bottom and many times have. And like the rig I drive now, use those 8″ spot mirrors on the front fenders which help eliminated that blind spot directly to the side of the tractor.

    But cars, ah, the new ones…..crap. I had to go see a friend 400 miles away, much of the driving on 2 lane roads or undivided 4 lanes. It was a Dodge and it sucked in visibility so bad I was a nervous wreck in heavy traffic. Tiny mirrors, no back window view, almost no side window view and a very limited view in the front due to some strange distortion on the left and right edges. About all I had was a tiny view straight ahead. I was even claustrophobic. I had just changed from a 379 Peterbilt with 4 spot mirrors and a side mirror that looked at the other lane on the passenger side(I love those mirrors)and a window at the bottom of the passenger door(love those too).

    Speaking with another old trucker one day he said “Hell, I look at my mirrors more than the road ahead”. He took the words right outta my mouth. After all, we HAVE to drive for everyone else.

    Visibility isn’t bad enough on new vehicles so now the new pickups give you none in front, maybe 30′ in front you start to see what’s there. Chevy just came out with two cameras in the front. That’s probably the best use of a camera I’ve seen. Even lots of truckers are starting to use bluetooth cams on the rear of their trailers. I scoffed at such till I got in a Toyota bus, er, van. You could see a very small amount of sky out the back…..with all the seats folded down. Otherwise the view out back wasn’t a view but a tiny little piece of sky you could see between headrests. No wonder there are so many wrecks. BTW, those Toyota vans get horrible mileage.

    No blind spots in cars, what a joke.

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