Vision is critical when driving – especially when operating a truck. However, not areas of the truck are visible to the driver which could lead to dangerous situations on the road.
The high sitting position is approximately three meters above the surface of the road, which gives the truck a good view to the front. However, vehicles and people in the immediate vicinity are easily overlooked in areas that are not seeable/hard to see by the driver, e.g. to the right of the cab. Additionally, the area behind the truck cannot be observed if cargo or trailers block the view.
Mirrors are intended to provide a solution. But there are areas that cannot be seen despite mirrors. These “blind spots” can be so large that pedestrians, cyclists, and even entire vehicles remain undetected.
Nowadays the blind spot has been reduced by modern mirror systems. For example, some of them are convex, i.e. curved wide-angle mirrors that have a larger field of vision than that of flat mirror glass. However, too many mirrors can overwhelm the driver in stressful situations. Usually, there are six mirrors in the driver’s field of vision, which must be observed in addition to the view of the road.
Shards Bring Luck?
A further problem with mirrors: Due to the width of the vehicle, they frequently touch other vehicles or obstacles. Light contact usually does not cause damage, but more violent impacts can damage the mirror mount, the housing, and even the mirror glass. If a mirror is defective and can no longer be used, it must be repaired or replaced immediately. In most countries, this is mandatory.
Quality in View: Not All Mirrors Are the Same
These days, rearview mirrors are often equipped with electric adjustment and heated mirror glass. The more technology is installed, the more often defects can occur. The materials used, precise manufacturing, and professional design are decisive for the service life of the components. Outside the driver’s cab, they are exposed to all weather conditions. Mechanical and electrical components must be protected against corrosion and dirt.