Size of Blind Spots in Gen III Prius--How about 2012 refresh?--Prediction for Gen IV??

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by kgall, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. kgall

    kgall Active Member

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    I have been a chronic complainer about rear visibility in the Gen III Prius. It's the only feature of the car that I truly hate, and so does my wife.

    I've done the Car Guys' mirror trick, which is very useful (see www.cartalk.com). Yet I still cannot get rid of the blind spot.

    So recently, I have been trying to find out how big the blind spots really are. I've only been able to test it on the left with any consistency, but here's the test, and what I've gotten:

    Set the mirrors for what you think is the best, and then watch as an object overtakes you. First you see it in your rear view mirror. Does it appear in your side view mirror before it fully disappears from the rear view mirror? [I try to do this without moving my head, but I do move my eyes.]
    Then, does it disappear from your side view mirror before you can see it out of the corner of your eye? [Again, try not to move your head, but I do move my eyes.] Note that this test reveals something that isn't often discussed--the size of the blind spot may depend on the extent of your peripheral vision--I would say mine is below average but not terrible.

    Here's what I've found:
    A Honda Fit [i.e., a pretty small car] will appear in my side view mirror just before it disappears completely from behind. It will also appear in my peripheral vision just before disappearing from the side view mirror.
    So the blind spots are smaller than a Fit.
    However, no matter how hard I try, I cannot set the mirrors so that a motorcyle does not completely disappear from my vision. When the mirror is set so that a small car does not disappear at all, a motorcycle disappears twice, at least briefly.
    So the blind spots are larger than a motorcycle.

    I haven't been able to [safely] do the same test on the right mirror, because it's one thing to give some of your attention to this when you are going slow and steady while someone is passing you; but another to do it while you are quickly passing someone else.


    I'm wondering:

    1. Does this match up with other's experiences on the size of the Gen III blindspot?

    2. Has the 2012 refresh done anything to improve/deprove the situation?

    3. Anyone got predictions/inside scoop for Gen IV on this issue?

    Yeah, I know there's a tradeoff in roof strength vs. visibility in hatchbacks. Still . . .
     
  2. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    In regards to 2: Refresh had nothing to do with improving 'blindspots'. It was basically cosmetic with changes to packages and removal of/addition of new features.


    In regards to 3 and Gen IV: It is early to even speculate but I think many a modern car, and even old cars, had blind spots. I have owned an 06', 10' and now 12' prius and while it took a little bit to adjust to at first on the 06' I've grown accustom to it. My 2000 Chrysler 300M was even worse so the prius isn't all that bad.
     
  3. Chunker

    Chunker My name is Chunker...I wear a hat

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    You can always use those nifty fish eye mirrors...I put them on every car I own and I love 'em.
     
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  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    PepBoys have really nice blue ones for just $8.
     
  5. sLick415

    sLick415 Member

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    Thats why youre supposed to look over (not behind) your shoulder before making a lane change. Ive driven many, many cars as a valet. And believe me, the Prius is nothing to complain about.

    In regards to the rear hatch, yes the split vision can be a little annoying. But its all in the design of aerodynamics.
     
  6. tach18k

    tach18k Member

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    Take out your rear view mirror and use just the outside ones, You will learn to drive a completely different way and maybe safer. I have for 20 some years. My biggest blind spot is the two front pillars on the winshield, those have brought on some close calls
     
  7. sLick415

    sLick415 Member

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    Yeah i know what you mean. Every car ive had, the biggest problems were the front pillars.

    I dont know bout taking the mirror off. Kind of dangerous reversing without one.
     
  8. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    It freaks me out to discover that some people basically never use the side mirrors, relying pretty much exclusively on the rear view. With a tiny sedan, you can get away with that. With a large hatchback, no.

    I agree with you too about the driving different without. Growing up, our family had a conversion van... complete with curtains on the back. You quickly discover the value of the sides. I could back out of remarkably tight spots with that van using them. It was great.
     
  9. kgall

    kgall Active Member

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    I'm about to do that--do you put them on the outside top or outside bottom of the regular mirror?

    As to what other people say about other cars being worse--well sure. Have been and will be. But there are a lot of cars that are better, and it's not clear to me why the Prius can't be. The aerodynamic "fastback" shape may make it harder, but still . . .

    And I do wish that the rear wing could be moved up or down, so that it isn't exactly where the headlights of a car near yours will appear at night. Once again, that may have something to do with reducing drag . . .
     
  10. Chunker

    Chunker My name is Chunker...I wear a hat

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    Outside bottom.
     
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  11. mrstop

    mrstop PWR Mode

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    I love the car guy's mirror tip for years and love it. I'm new to the Prius and, while it does take some getting use to over other cars, I think the mirror trick works great. I find it just takes putting a little more faith in your side mirrors assuming they are adjusted properly.

    For those who want to know the trick: Avoiding The Blind Spot | Car Talk. IIRC, the real tip when adjusting your driver side mirror is to place your head next to the window and adjust the mirror so you just see the left rear quarter panel. Then move your head the same distance towards the right window and adjust the right mirror so you just see the left rear quarter panel. This gives you a good starting point from which to tweak.
     
  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    The right side is better than the left because it's convex. The left isn't too bad at highway speeds (car is mostly in view of any mirror or peripheral) but I can always do a quick left tilt of the head to check the left mirror and then shoulder check.

    The right side is much better and I have more confidence but I still shoulder check in case someone from two lanes over decides to change lanes right at the blind spot/pillar area.

    It has actually moved up from the Gen 2. The lower rear glass is taller in the Gen 3.
     
  13. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    I use the mirror trick and those stick on convex mirrors. I stuck the convex mirrors on the lower inside corners of the side mirrors so that I can see the sides of my car and painted lines of parking stalls and curbs. I have to admit though the stall markings look really close in the convex mirrors.
     
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