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From digest.v7.n1083 Fri Feb 6 05:23:21 1998
From: Peter Biernacki <>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 21:43:03 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Wide Angle Rear View Mirrors

There has been a great deal of discussion on the digest about the replacement of the stock BMW rear view mirrors in place of wider angle mirrors. I'd like to suggest an alternative solution to the problem that is simple, effective, and virtually free.

The problem is to essentially eliminate the blind spots that exist when you set your outside mirrors so that the sides of the car are just visible. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) studied a category of accidents they call Lane Change/Merge (LCM) crashes and found that about 60% of drivers involved in LCM crashes did not see the other vehicle, and about 30% of drivers misjudged the position or speed of the other vehicle. It is important to note that blindzones are involved in every LCM maneuver (though you cannot blame every crash on the blindzones). The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) did research and published a document on how to eliminate blindzones. It is SAE Technical Paper 950601 by George Platzer (Consulting Engineer and SAE Member) copyright 1996, and can be purchased by calling (412) 776-7006 or you can check their web You should request the non-technical condensation of the Technical Paper entitled "A Simple Way To Prevent Blindzone Accidents" which will give you all the information you need.

The paper describes the "Blindzone Setting" which is the way most people set the three mirrors in their cars, and the "Blindzone/Glare Elimination Setting (BGE Setting)" which is the way the mirrors should be set. It has several excellent drawings depicting the various methods.


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