UM Blind Spot Mirrors
UM Motorcycles has blind spot mirrors on its bikes which come as part of the design

We all know that safety equipment or related ones always score less points in the board of priority. In my previous article, I pointed the necessity of implementing DRLs on bikes in our country which is probably the cheapest and the most easily adaptable safety feature on two-wheelers. DRLs certainly can be implemented on four wheelers and commercial vehicles but apart from that, there is another safety feature that can enhance driving experience. No I am not talking about JLR’s invisible pillar technology which did cost the company millions of dollars but about something which is already available on some vehicles; known as blind spot mirror.

A blind spot mirror is nothing but a convex mirror which is designed to cover more area when compared to a standard rear view mirror. Though the blind spots would be useful if used on both the rear view mirrors, however its importance is much more on the left side. Here is an example indicating why a blind spot mirror is useful.

Mirror Without Blind Spot

Case 1 (Without Blind Spot Mirror) – The green arrows indicate the view angle with respect to the driver. The regions R3 and R4 indicate with respect to the vehicle (driver) position D3 and D4. The grey arrow represents the path of another vehicle which is estimated to be approaching at the speed of 3X; where X is the speed of the vehicle (the blue block). Assume that if X is at 30 km/hr then 3X would be 90 km/hr. The vehicle following the grey path could possibly not be spotted by the blue driver for about say 1.5 seconds. As the vehicle in grey is relatively at higher speed, it would be difficult for the driver to come to a halt; but for the driver who is driving the car at 30 km/hr, he can easily control the speed. In this case, the blue driver would be totally blind-folded for about 1.5 seconds which means by the time the driver (in blue) spots the grey one, the latter would have travelled 40 meters by then. 40 meters is a pretty big margin when it comes to such scenarios and it would well lead to an accident.

Mirror Blind Spot

Case 2 (With Blind Spot Mirror on left side only) – The visibility is improved substantially and the same situation can be avoided provided the grey vehicle is always seen through the rear view mirror (which has blind spot with it). However the blind spot mirror wouldn’t be efficient in night when compared to the same in day.

Motorcycles – If one thinks that blind spot is useful only in cars then he/she is absolutely wrong. Blind spot mirrors are equally useful on motorbikes as the same principal can be applied for it. In fact, blind spot mirrors will come handy as motorbikes have more manoeuvrability when compared to cars; the regions on the rear of the bike that is blocked by the helmet can be accessed by the blind spot without turning the head. Recommended for city riding and high speed touring!