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ASF Launches Safe Mirrors Now Campaign to Introduce New Side View Mirror that Eliminates Blind Spot

  In an effort to save lives and reduce the number of traffic related accidents caused by a vehicle’s blind spot, the Automobile Safety Foundation (ASF), a non profit group that researches and develops ways to improve vehicle safety and address safe driving practices, is launching its “Safe Mirrors Now!” campaign in support of side view mirrors designed to provide unrestricted peripheral view without distance distortion.

 “  Maxi View  
As it is, standard side view mirrors, which conceal nearby approaching vehicles in a blind area and restrict drivers’ view while changing lanes, are implicated in more than 413,000 (more than half) of the country’s 826,000 lane change accidents such as side swipes, according to The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). For this reason, ASF maintains that it is unsafe to merge onto a freeway or change lanes safely with standard equipment side view mirrors.

With these type of accidents accounting for more than 160,000 injuries annually, the ASF has researched and developed the Expo mirror, specifically intended to increase the effectiveness of standard side view mirrors and improve on aftermarket convex mirror accessories. It aims in reducing a vehicle’s blind spot without making it difficult to anticipate distance due to image distortion inherent in its design (see illustrations below).

Additionally, ASF recommends aftermarket convex mirrors and mirror accessories such as the “Maxi View” Mirror (below center), touted by its manufacturer to be the “world’s best blind spot mirror.” In addition to the variety of aftermarket mirrors such as the Expo and the “Maxi View,” select automobile manufactures, including some models of Ford and GM, with encouragement from ASF, are beginning to introduce new, effective and safer side view mirrors (see below).

Furthering this effort, the ASF, through the Safe Mirrors Now!” campaign, also supports legislation, like that of the European Parliament and Council’s new directive on rear view mirrors and supplementary indirect vision systems for motor vehicles, which is designed to improve road user safety by upgrading the performance of rear view mirrors and accelerating the introduction of new technologies that increase the field of indirect vision for drivers of passenger cars, buses and trucks.

The ASF recommend that all drivers obtain a good blind spot mirror such as the Maxi View Mirror or Expo Mirror, while also encouraging the NHTSA and auto maker to take the necessary steps to implement remedial design changes in future models’ mirrors. In support of this recommendation, the NHTSA’s “Field Test Evaluation of Rearview Mirror Systems for Commercial Vehicles” (DOT HS 806 948), showed that vehicles with standard flat passenger side mirrors are nearly 83% more likely to be involved in an accident as compared to blind-spot revealing mirrors similar to the Expo and Maxi View.

Founded in 1988, the Automobile Safety Foundation is an independent 501 (c) (3) non profit, organization that researches and develops ways to improve vehicle safety while addressing public driving awareness and auto safety issues. Although the ASF does not serve companies or private interest organizations, the foundation encourages government agencies and automobile manufactures alike to adopt regulations and equipment in support of vehicle and driver safety, including external airbags, shock absorbing seats, safe mirrors that reduce and/or eliminate blind spots, hands-free cellular and distress system technologies, as well as alternative fuels. ASF seeks and welcomes manufacturers, partners and investors for the ASF Expo Mirror, which is available for safety education
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 programs and promotional use. For more information about the foundation’s efforts, or to inquire about Safe Mirror Now! Campaign sponsorship opportunities and make a donation, please visit www.carsafe.org or call 858.831.1871. You can also write the Automobile Safety Foundation at P.O. Box 12183 La Jolla, CA 92039-2183.

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