Diagram: blind spots while driving

This is an experiment with what I can learn from interactive diagrams. There are several diagrams showing how to adjust your car mirrors to minimize blind spots. It turns out there’s also some disagreement over this; see this and this and this page arguing for the “new” way. All the diagrams I found were static; I wanted an interactive diagram that let me try out different mirror types and positions to compare the “old” and “new” ways.

Adjust the mirror angles and the driver position by dragging the circles: (doesn’t work properly on some touch devices)

Left mirror:
Center mirror:
Right mirror:

Things to notice:

  1. The farther back your seat, the larger the blind spots. Move the seat to see the effect.
  2. Moving your seat requires changing the mirror positions (this is done automatically in the demo). Move the seat and watch the mirrors.
  3. The right side mirror has a narrower view area than the left side mirror. This is because you’re sitting farther away. To compensate, auto makers use a curved mirror, which distorts the image. “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear” notice. The curvature in this demo is very slight (5 degrees), but you can also buy mirrors with a larger curvature. Toggle the curved mirror to see the difference.
  4. Some people get larger mirrors. This helps the middle mirror, but the right side mirror is helped more by a slight curvature. Toggle the large mirror checkbox to see the difference.

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