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Are You Blind To Backup Danger?
Drivaware and Safe4Kids Tests Show Larger Vehicles Have Larger Blind Spots
If you have a sport utility vehicle, it is probably because they are big and you believe they're safer than other vehicles. But Drivaware
and Safe4Kids News has uncovered some information about a safety issue that affects virtually every vehicle on the road. When you back your vehicle up, you look in the rearview mirror, and
it is easy to see if an adult is in the way. But what if a small child is standing there? Statistics show that 28,000 children were taken to emergency rooms last year when they were run over
by a vehicle backing up. Before you get behind the wheel, you'd better know more about your vehicle's blind spot. Robin Giglio's
22-month-old son Hayden, somehow got behind the family SUV as they were backing away from his grandparents' house. "I relive the accident every day," Giglio said. "Hayden ran
behind the car and I couldn't see him at all and I hit him." Drivaware and Safe4Kids's Investigators went to a supermarket parking lot and placed orange cones the size of a small child
behind some vehicles that were backing out. The people in the vehicles checked their mirrors and took their time backing up, but they couldn't see the cone because of the blind spot. If it had
been a child, he or she could have been seriously injured, if not killed. With the help of John Long of AAA Mid-Atlantic, Drivaware and Safe4Kids set
up a blind spot demonstration with Alexis and Annemarie volunteering to be the drivers. Cones were placed directly behind different cars, vans, pickups and SUVs. In an older-model Toyota
Corolla, Alexis didn't spot the cone until it was moved 9.5 feet behind her. However, Annemarie spotted it sooner -- after 8 feet 3 inches. Why was there a difference with the exact same car?
Annemarie is 8 inches taller than Alexis. The shorter you are, the harder it is to spot things when you back up. In the demonstration, Drivaware and Safe4Kids discovered that the bigger the vehicle,
the bigger the blind spot. With a Jeep Grand Cherokee, the blind spot was over 20 feet 5 inches. The Ford Windstar's blind spot was about 25 feet and the Land Rover had a 36-foot blind spot.
Drivaware and Safe4Kids found out it was even worse when the blind spot was directly behind the spare tire and the middle seat headrest. Alexis couldn't see the cone for over 182 feet -- that's over
half the length of a football field. You can reduce your blind spot, Long said. "In the third seat of a passenger van, put it down in the resting position and it will give you somewhat
greater visibility as you look over your shoulder," Long said. Many vehicles have sensors that beep when something is close. You can also reduce your blind spot by raising your power seat
to let you see at a greater angle. If you don't have a power seat make sure you turn around and lift yourself up as much as possible -- that always reduced the blind spot in tests by AAA Mid-Atlantic.
You should also always make sure you look behind the vehicle before getting in and hit the horn briefly to warn anybody who might be in
your blind spot.
LaneFX proven better solution to the blind spot problem than stick-on convex blind spot mirrors
Why use conventional, ineffective blind spot mirrors? LaneFX puts your side mirrors to work for your driving safety. It alerts you before changing lanes by showing you any trucks,
SUV's, and passenger cars hiding in your blind spot side view mirror. Plus, LaneFX works with your vehicle's existing power side mirrors.
Learn how adjusting your power mirrors wide does not guarantee to eliminate blind spots
The Car Talk folks might like this concept
, but why use 1960's technology to solve an increasingly
important driving safety problem? Blind spot mirrors are no match for the simplicity, innovation and high-technology of the LaneFX system.
Unlike what you'd drive in Volvo XC90, S80, or Audi Q7 Lane Assist, LaneFX is not a fad or a car gadget! Auxiliary blind spot mirrors are not the the latest automotive safety technology
to make lane changing and merging safer. As you activate your blinker, LaneFX swings your side mirror outward to show you what may be lurking
in your vehicle's blind spot. LaneFX is more compatible with the latest turn signal mirrors than stick-on convex blind spot mirrors. Since LaneFX doesn't take away any of the mirror surface (unlike
stick-on fish eye mirrors), you can see Muth turn signal LED's with ease. Turn signal mirrors and LaneFX are the ultimate in total driver awareness. Check the best-selling
Muth turn signal mirrors and see how easily they're compatible with LaneFX for a powerful safety result.
- blind spot mirrors
- lane change
- Total driver awareness and safe driving even with when used with radar detectors.
- Consumer Reports stresses the importance of proper lane check prior to merging or
- Sonus SideVUE, is a good example of stick-on gadgets for your blind spot mirrors, but without real benefit of driving safety that Lane FX provides on any vehicle equipped with power mirrors,
- Prevent accidents: Always check your blind spot zone before changing lanes
or merging into highway traffic.
10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Auto Collision
- Get a good start at intersections. This helps cut commute times for the individual as well as for countless others. Make it through one extra light and that’s an average of two minutes
that isn’t wasted sitting in traffic.
- Don’t stop prematurely at yellow lights. Not only is it often highly dangerous (if the driver behind isn’t paying attention), it also wastes time, money and gas and promotes traffic
congestion, stress and frustration.
- Utilize turns efficiently, especially right turns. How drivers perform turns determines how much time is wasted, and congestion is created for what can be hundreds, even thousands of drivers.
- At least match speeds on on-ramps and utilize the full length of the on-ramp. Merging early and failing to get up to speed on on-ramps often creates tremendous congestion, wastes time and gas
and can be extremely dangerous.
- Let faster drivers by without slowing. This eliminates stress and they’ll likely eliminate large amounts of congestion farther ahead for you, thus saving you valuable time.
- Safely pass slower vehicles. Failing to swiftly and safely pass by slower vehicles — especially large vehicles such as motor homes and 18-wheelers — is the No. 1 cause of traffic
- Look ahead. Read traffic flow properly so that acceleration, deceleration and lane changes can be properly timed. The less often drivers have to slow down, the more fuel, time and money is
saved and less traffic congestion is created.
- Change lanes properly. This will help prevent slowing, preferably without losing speed and without causing others to slow down.
- Utilize right and left turn combinations rather than sitting at red lights. Not only is gas, time and money being saved, there is less congestion at that light.
|NHTSA estimates that 1 out of 25 accidents on US highways is due to improper lane change or lane merge. Get in on the latest and coolest
mobile electronics technology. Car gadgets are interesting, but who are you going to trust to show you the vehicles in your blind spot area? Lane FX is safe, reliable, affordable and universal:
It works in any vehicle (sedan, truck or SUV) equipped with power mirrors for lane change and also for parking assist. LaneFX is also available with ParkFX Park Assist and Curb Exposure
System. ParkFX tilts your side mirror(s) downward when you put the vehicle in reverse to show you the curb
(during parallel parking) or the parking boundaries around you. Get ParkFX and avoid giving your rims costly "curb rash"!
Ditch Your Stick-on Convex Blind Spot Mirrors Today
Stop Distorting Your Rearview and Compromising Your Side Mirror Vieweing Space
Drivaware has come up with something useful: the LaneFX , a controller that connects
your power mirrors to your turn signals, so that when you signal (you do signal before you turn, right?), your mirrors swivel outward to show your blind spot. Hey, if this keeps just one cyclist
out of the hospital, I'm happy.
Generally speaking, larger vehicles have larger rear blind spots. For example, the blind spot behind a typical sedan could only hide a small animal, while
the blind spot of an SUV can hide small children, resulting in as many as 50 children being killed by reversing SUVs each year.
The blind spot behind tractor trailers can contain entire vehicles, which is one reason many trucks carry warnings not to follow too
close, such as "if you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you." This is partly because the driver's position is higher in a tractor-trailer.
Larger vehicles also have much larger front and side blind spots. Tractor-trailers have not only large rear quarter blind spots, but also a large blind spot directly to their left and to their
There are a number of products available to consumers to deal with the blind spot problem. Convex mirrors, often called "spot mirrors" can bring blind spots into view, but their optical
properties impart a great deal of distortion so as to make it difficult to judge distances. Newer technologies using aspheric mirrors allows the blind spots to be virtually eliminated
while minimizing distortion.
LaneFX Helps Drivers Remember to Use Their Blinkers Before Merging or Changing Lanex
- Wear your seatbelt. Almost 40 per cent of all vehicle occupants killed in 2002 were not wearing a seatbelt. So whether you're a driver or passenger, buckle up.
- Slow down. Excessive speed is a contributing factor in 20 per cent of occupant fatalities.
- Each year, 25 per cent of deaths and 40 per cent of serious injuries from vehicle collisions occur at intersections. Be careful, even when you have the right of way, and remember to treat a
non-working traffic light like a four-way stop.
- In summer, there are more people on the roads in many different kinds of vehicles. Remember to watch out for motor bikes and bicycles and be courteous to these road users.
- The safest place for kids under 12 is in the back seat. Have kids travel in the back seat, especially when there is an airbag for the passenger seat.
Impaired driving is a problem that seriously affects the safety of our roads. Every year more than 1,100 people die in alcohol-related collisions - that's about one-third of the total
number of fatalities. Thousands more are injured, many of them permanently disabled. In fact, nearly 40 per cent of seriously injured drivers consumed alcohol prior to their collisions.
Driving a car taps into almost all our basic skills - perception, attention, judgment, decision making, physical reactions - as well as our ability to coordinate these skills. Alcohol impairs
these skills and our ability to drive.
- Put simply, don't drink and drive.
- If you are hosting a party or function where alcohol is served, remember that you may be legally liable for damage caused by guests - even after they have left the premises.
Check your tires
Without proper maintenance, your tires could fail and cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Proper tire maintenance is not only critical to the safe operation of your vehicle, but will also
improve fuel economy, extend tire life, provide better vehicle handling, help prevent avoidable breakdowns and collisions, and reduce exhaust emissions that contribute to environmental, health
and climate change problems.
- Driving on under-inflated tires at high speeds on a warm summer day is a dangerous combination. For safety's sake, check your tires once a month, especially before you head out on a long trip.
- Make sure your tires are inflated to the correct levels and do not exceed the load limit of your vehicle. This information can usually be found on the inside of the driver's door.
- Inspect your tires regularly for uneven tread wear, cuts, cracks, bulges and foreign objects and rotate tires on a regular basis.
Sharing the road with large trucks and commercial vehicles
There are more commercial vehicles on Canada's roads now than ever before. These vehicles can be up to 40 times heavier than an average car and take more than twice the distance to stop. To prevent
collisions with these vehicles, remember:
- Avoid cutting in front of trucks or braking suddenly in front of them.
- When you are in the driver's blind spot, move through quickly and never pass on the right, where the blind spot is even larger. If you
can't see the driver's face in their side mirror, they can't see you.
- When passing a truck, ensure you can do it safely, signal, then pass promptly. Be prepared to encounter splash and spray on wet roads.
Cell phones and other distractions
Pay attention-don't engage in distracting activities while driving. Cell phones and other devices such as electronic
navigation systems are emerging as factors in road collisions.
- Do not use a phone while driving.
- Turn the phone off before you start driving. Let callers leave a message.
- If there are passengers in the vehicle, let one of them take or make the call.
- If you're expecting an important call, let someone else drive.