1974-02-01

Drivers' Vision and Performance with Convex Exterior Rearview Mirrors 740961

A laboratory simulation of dawn/dusk illumination showed that following vehicles could be detected equally well in plane and convex mirrors, and a night driving test showed that low- and mid-beam headlamps of a following car produced discomfort glare responses that were independent of whether the exterior mirror was plane or convex. Visibility of the following car was rated better with the plane exterior mirror. Measures of performance of drivers relevant to safety in lane changing and passing were not different when they used a plane or convex exterior mirror in conjunction with a plane interior mirror, and did not differ in the day or at night. When the initial speed of the overtaking car was 15 mph (24 km/h) greater than the subjects' car, drivers significantly underestimated the relative speed, indicating a potential cause of collisions with a following vehicle in lane changing and passing maneuvers.

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