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Old 09-27-2009, 10:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JackMcCornack View Post
Here in the US cars come with convex passenger side exterior mirrors, and flat driver's side mirrors. I drove British cars in GB for a good while before I noticed they have convex mirrors both sides, and I thought they worked great that way. Why don't we do that here? The FMVSS says flat mirror driver's side, the Automotive X Prize says flat mirror driver's side, what's the logic there?
It's a matter of depth perception, as I understand it. NHTSA feels that people will need to focus more on a convex image than they would on a flat image to determine depth of image and proximity of approaching objects, and thus, require a flat mirror on the driver's side.

Keep in mind, these rules only apply to OEMs, and if your state doesn't have laws specifically governing the type of mirror in use, you can change them to suit your needs. (Most states don't, that I recall. In fact, PA doesn't require any mirror specifically, other than "one mirror which provides a full, unobstructed view of the rear of the vehicle". In most cases, this is the mirror on the inside of the car's windshield.)

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