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Blind spot alerts on car wing mirrors - do they detect bikes?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by GJ384, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. So I had a thought while driving to work a few days ago, after seeing one of those cars with the blind spot alert on their mirror - ie the little red light that comes on in the corner of the mirror when someone is in their blind spot.

    I'd imagine they work with ultrasonic sensors, which would probably have to be pretty finely tuned so that they detect vehicles in the adjacent lane but not in the next lane over.

    My question being - if anyone drives or has driven a car with this kind of system, does the light still activate reliably when there is a bike (as opposed to a car) in the blind spot?

    As a side note, I'm generally not particularly happy that these have started becoming standard on a lot of cars (and not just upmarket cars), because I think it's likely to train drivers into not checking over their shoulder anymore - and all it would take then is for the sensor to fail, the light to not illuminate, and then the driver has merged straight into someone next to them...

  2. I honestly don't get this. Wouldn't a blind spot mirror do the job better and cost less?
  3. Why use simplicity and sensibility when you can use whiz bang tech and then market it as an indication of how innovative and forward thinking you are as a company.
  4. I have this technology on one of my cars and it picks up bikes just fine. Much more effective than a convex mirror where a bike becomes a tiny blip smaller than a postage stamp. Maybe you should try driving a car with this system before you pass judgement. Does ABS make drivers forget how to brake? It makes a big difference when the human driver cocks it up. The light will make most difference to drivers who were never going to shoulder check anyway.
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  5. There is a degree of responsibility on the rider to make sure the driver can see you. Dont ride in their blind spot ; if you can see their face in their mirror, then they can see you. Remember that defensive rider stuff . Let them see you. Make them see you!
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  6. Agree that riders who want to survive will ride in this fashion. This does not make it right that we should have to though. idealism I know, but if a driver does not check their blind spot before moving, then blame for any incident should rest 100% on their shoulders and not on those of the rider that they kill, maim, injure, hit, or simply cause to take evasive action.

    My point is that it is smart to ride with the mindset that every other road user is intent on our death, but when the worst happens, blame should never sit with the rider for 'not riding to be seen'. In a genuine SMIDSY situation, there is one party, and one party only, that is legally at fault. To turn around and say 'the rider should have positioned themselves in a visible spot' does not excuse poor driving habits.
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  7. 1 they look crap, 2 it's annoying to have your view obstructed by this circular thing.

    Most of these issues would be minimised if people just learnt how to setup the mirror to begin with.

    To answer the question, for sure they work on motorcyclist of around 250cc upwards. That's how it was sold to me anyway.
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  8. Plus every little 20c LED you can add to the product will add $20-$200 to what you can charge for it ;)
  9. I remember doing an advanced diving course and being told why would car manufacturers design mirrors that have a blind spot? And the answer is they don't. If mirrors are set correctly the driver should be able to see anything up to their periphery without moving their head.

    And this is true. To set a car mirror move your head over to the right half a foot and set the mirror so you can just see the edge of the car. Do the same on your left. It works, watch a motorbike move from behind you to in front and you can see it at every point without turning your head.

    If you take the standard practice of leaving your head still and setting the side mirrors so you can see the back of the car, then you have blind spots. And way too many people don't know this.
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  10. So what about smaller bikes. Dont they count or is there some other thing that stops them being seen???????
    PS..wanna buy the sydney harbour bridge?
  11. And just to demonstrate how poor the knowledge of how to correctly set a car mirror is, who sets their side mirrors so they can always see the back of the car? and who sets them so they are pointing further out and give you no blind spots? be honest.

    For 2 years I did the first method, this is what my parents taught me. Then after doing the course I started setting them correctly.
  12. TBH I've always set my mirrors the first way - so that I can *just* see the back of the car from a normal seated position. I was never taught during driver training how to set the mirrors at all - in fact I was told during driver training that it wasn't even possible to set them to see the blind spot (thus illustrating the importance of shoulder checks), so have never even considered attempting the (apparently) impossible.

    Having said that - first thing I do when I get back in the car in an hour's time will be setting the mirrors as you've suggested!
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  13. What's worse? A blind spot just over your shoulder that you can turn your head to see or one down by the rear fender that you must shift in your seat to see. I have my mirrors set to just see the most protruding piece of the car which gives me positioning information. With minimal head movement I don't have a blind spot.

    As for "Blame" Once you are dead you won't be worried who did it. That's one of the problems these days, every one wants to blame someone else instead of looking out for one's self and taking responsibility for their own actions.
  14. http://www.wikihow.com/Set-Rear‐View-Mirrors-to-Eliminate-Blind-Spots

    That explains it all a bit better than I have.
  15. This is more than aptly covered by the central mirror. Just try setting mirrors up the way I've suggested, then get someone to walk around the car.
  16. With correct mirror position you'll still need to turn your head to check nothing is next to you, but it reduces the need for the over the shoulder check. Smilee is spot on and this shows why;
    Figs 1, 3 and 4 have no overlap and no blind spot.

    TBH I still occasionally use the 'traditional' method as I'm sharing a car atm and it's much quicker to set up when switching drivers for a short trip.
    I don't mind the concept of the blind spot indicator as it might encourage people to head check who otherwise wouldn't think to. It is lowest common denominator technology, but if it helps bikes be noticed it can't all be bad...
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  17. Given the effectiveness of such systems are dependent on drivers looking in the mirror to see the little red light, I still think we're screwed.
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  18. Sorry, it's larger than 125cc but I think it's more to do with the average size of a 125cc bike.

    What drivers need to be aware like any safety devices is to not rely solely on these things. Like reverse cameras, parking sensors, airbags, ABS, traction control and ESP. There's no substitute for good driving but these systems do assist with the driving.
  19. This is the best comment so far. I was driving home from work yesterday and saw a merc drive in to a car. The merc had one of these little red lights. I reckon manufacturers will design a car without mirrors next year as the light will now be dangling in front of the driver and call it the future of safe driving and innovation.
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  20. They do if you boot them hard enough, they respond by flying through the air.