Prius blind-spot accident

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by bwilson4web, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    This is a report about an actual Prius accident. It was probably an NHW20 but I suspect the blind-spot problem is shared by our 2010 Prius:
    http://www.momlogic.com/2009/08/i_crashed_into_a_scary_biker_dude.php
    This is a real risk for Prius drivers, dealing with the blind spot(s). No amount of noise generator would 'win' versus a Harley. No Lexus accident helps us adjust our mirrors to try and see vehicles in these blind spots. This is real and to the extent that we pay attention to what actually is a risk, we can mitigate them.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  2. blueumbrella

    blueumbrella Member of Prius Regeneration

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    This is scary. I read a post here recently about properly adjusting side mirrors. I made that change and it really has almost completely eliminated my blind spots. It does take some getting used to, but it really does improve your area of vision.
     
  3. claridiva

    claridiva New Member

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    Can you post the link to this thread/post? I tried searching for it and did not find it. Many thanks!
     
  4. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    After driving for 40 yrs I sold a verhicle to a current HS Driver Ed teacher. During the course of the demo the subject somehow came to blindspots. He mentioned that two things had changed in the driver's positioning over the last 45 yrs since I had learned to drive.

    A. Instead of holding the hands at !0 and 2...the kids were being taught to hold it lower at 8 and 4 or even at 7 and 5. It's to keep the hands away from inflating airbags.

    B. The mirrors. A long distance trucker confirmed this point.
    • lean your head all the way to the left against the window....then adjust the left mirror to catch the tail edge of the car.
    • lean over on the center console resting on your right arm and adjust the right mirror to catch the tail edge of the car.
    • sit back normally, voila...blindspots are gone or nearly non-existent.
    Initially it looks weird but it works very very well. Why do you need to see the back edge of your car?
     
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  5. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    All that is required is to move your head.
    After reading the description of the rider I can only imagine loud pipes didn't save this guys skin!
     
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  6. LoraJ

    LoraJ Active Member

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    Good tips!!! Will check out my mirrors the next time I am in the car. When I almost got in an accident a couple of weeks ago, it was more of a front end blind spot with a guy turning into the same lane as I was. Very scary. No mirror would have helped there. Thank goodness for the extra set of eyes in my car. I am one to always look back when changing lanes, which is actually why I almost hit this guy.
     
  7. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Because it allows you to judge distance. Adjusting mirrors like this might allow you to see what you should turn your head to look at in the mirror but with the convex mirrors now fitted on both sides of most new cars depth perception sucks. You know what is there but not where it is! (Objects viewed in the mirror are closer than they appear.)
    Any good motorcyclist will tell you, turn your head and check your blind spot!
     
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  8. ceric

    ceric New Member

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    There is a reason why blind-spot monitoring system (called BSM) is getting popular.
    The cost is only $200 on Mazda. It can be found on more than 10 brands in USA.
    Honda/Toyota are way behind on the adoption of this technology.
    No matter how you adjust your side mirrors, your side views at dark rainy nights will always be limited.
     
  9. PriusLewis

    PriusLewis Management Scientist

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    I use spot mirrors on the outside mirrors of my cars. The ones at the auto parts stores are 2 inch diameter. This works well on a large mirror, but for the smaller car mirrors I go to the local motorcycle accessory store and buy spot mirrors for a bike. These are 1 inch diameter. On my Prius I put them out at the "sharp" end of the existing mirrors. They're small enough to prevent them from using up too much of the existing mirrors, but still provide a view of the blind spot. These have helped a lot. If you click on the "pics" link in my sig, you can just see the spot mirror on the right in the right rear 3/4 view.
     
  10. yardman 49

    yardman 49 Active Member

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    Pat:

    Are the "convex mirrors now fitted on both sides of most new cars" something that is only required in Australia? I have never seen them on the driver's side here in the states, and I rent many different cars during a year's time for work.

    Like PriusLewis, I use the $2 stick-on blind spot mirrors. I've been using them for years. I also have put them on my wife's cars. She really likes them also. They've saved me several times, and I keep my side mirrors adjusted "normally", not in the "wide" configuration mentioned by others in this post. Not only have they saved me, but they also help me to verify that my blind spot is clear without having to turn my head. I don't have a problem with the depth perception issue.

    The blind spot mirror also enables me to see those drivers who merge into my blind spot from two lanes over, as well as the ones who are in my blind spot in the adjacent lane. Some drivers don't think about "driving defensively", especially when it comes to blind spots. They pull up along side you in your blind spot and just sit there, unaware that they can't be seen easily. Or they merge right into your blind spot.

    I try to keep myself out of other's blind spots when I drive. I realize that it's my responsibility to make myself "seen".

    DeadPhish: I thought that the statement by the "long distance trucker" about how to adjust mirrors was strange. Most long distance truckers use large convex mirrors for a wide angle view, in addtiion to the standard flat mirrors, so such an adjustment of the flat mirrors would seem to be unnecessary.
     
  11. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if this is a case of blind spot accident or a motorcyclist riding irresponsibly. The driver doesn't know what actually happened and the motorcyclist's "You didn't see me?" could just be a cover for his recklessness. I've had too many motorcycles come out of nowhere when trying to change lanes and this wasn't just in the Prius.
     
  12. cossie1600

    cossie1600 Active Member

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    The guy cant drive and hit the bike, simple as that. Don't give the bikers an excuse to make their piece of crap louder, the car is not at fault, the driver is.
     
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  13. blueumbrella

    blueumbrella Member of Prius Regeneration

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  14. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I added 2" convex spot mirrors to both side mirrors very early after I bought the car. This allows you to adjust the mirrors to eliminate blind spots (as described in the link above) and still be able to see the rear of your own car in the spot mirror(s).
     
  15. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    hmmm. i think the bigger blind spot happens when turning left while driving downhill. the blind spot is the target of the turn front left of the car.

    blind spots are mis-named. they should be "neglected views" since as we all know, we only have to look.
     
  16. djasonw

    djasonw Active Member

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    HI.. I took a look at your photos and will buy them. I imagine the ones you have are the one inch diameter? I once learned how to driver an 18 wheeler and we relied a great deal on convex mirrors. I would imagine they'd be very good on the Prius.

    Lots of cars have blind spots, some worse than others. Since I've been driving this car for nearly six years I am so used to it. Someone in this thread mentioned BS indicators used by Volvo, Ford, Mazda. Just read an article about the Mazda 6 and it has that feature. The author got annoyed at all the false alarms, especially when he was driving by bushes. Nice concept but when you get too many false alarms, what's the point? Same thing with the lane departure systems in some cars. I think we're relying too much on technology and not using our eyes and ears as well as good common sense. That's what makes a good driver.
     
  17. Salsawonder

    Salsawonder New Member

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    It is hard enough to drive responsibly but when you add motorcyclists running in and out of traffic and raging through "non-lanes" at 3x the actual traffic speed during rush hour I think the blame needs to be shared.
     
  18. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    In response to "why do we need to see the tail end of our cars"

    Pat... with all due respect (and I don't just say that)... there is little need to judge distance when you are trying to fill in a blind spot. Plus seeing the tail of your car does nothing to help you determine how far away another car is that you see in your mirror. And since it also doesn't even allow you to see the cars that are next to you, it is useless to see the back end of your car.

    With mirrors adjusted properly, if you see the nose of a car in your mirror, there is a car in your (otherwise) blind spot. You don't need to know how far it is if you can see the nose of it, it is RIGHT THERE next to you. And at this point you don't need to waste your time or safety by looking over your shoulder. When you see nothing there, THEN you can look over your shoulder before making a move.

    Yes, you always need to glance over your shoulder before changing lanes, etc. But having your mirrors adjusted properly means that you know what's there BEFORE you take your eyes off the road ahead.

    If you have not tried proper mirror adjustment, please do. Yes it takes a while to get used to it. Once you get used to it, you'll wonder how you survived without it.

    When you have your mirrors adjusted so you can see the tail end of your car, your side mirrors don't show you hardly anything more than you can already see in the center-mounted rear-view mirror, so what's the point? The good news is that you have the status quo on your side. Probably over 95% of drivers have them adjusted so you can see the side of the car. The bad news is that all these drivers have gaping blind spots so that they ONLY way to tell if a car is next to you, is by taking your eyes off the road ahead.
     
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  19. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Yeah, last week when I attempted lane change during slow moving traffic I nearly missed the motorcyclist traveling on "non-lane" at more like 5x the actual traffic speed. There isn't enough time to catch them at this fast speed between looking in the rear side view mirror and the lane change (and people usually look for nearby vehicles, not those coming from a distance).
     
  20. SFguy2009

    SFguy2009 Junior Member

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    Most, if not all cars, have blind spots. Drivers just need to be aware of their surrounding. Turn your head and don't rely solely on those side mirrors. I must say, some motorcyclists here in California go too fast in between cars during traffic situation. Both drivers and motorcyclists have to exercise extra cautions.:)
     
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