All cars are equipped with rear view mirrors. However, new drivers may not be sure which mirror the term refers to or how to use it correctly. The rear-view mirrors have the task of increasing the visibility and awareness of the driver, which translates into greater safety for themselves but also for other motorists. For the sake of clarity we limit the use of the term “rear view mirror” to the interior mirror that we use to look through the rear window of your car and to see what is going on behind your vehicle.
Where is the Rearview Mirror and What it is for
Most cars have a rearview mirror fixed just before the windshield. This mirror is adjustable so that drivers of different heights can move it for easy use. It is intended to be used in conjunction with exterior rear view mirrors (or side mirrors), but not as a substitute for turning your head to look directly where you are going when reversing. Rear-view mirrors have been standard equipment for cars since 1914 but it also appears that they may have been used on some horse-drawn carriages even earlier.
Most rear view mirrors come with a night and day setting. At night, the headlights of other cars, especially the high beams, can create annoying reflections directly in the driver’s eyes, creating temporary blindness. Rearview mirrors solve this problem by allowing the driver to use a night setting that reduces glare. On some models, the driver tilts the mirror up, causing the headlights to reflect through a filter so they aren’t as blinding. Some rear view mirrors come with automatic dimming instead. These mirrors use photo sensors to measure the level of light reflected by the mirror. If the light level is too high, the mirror automatically adjusts to soften the reflection.
The Usefulness of the Rearview Mirror
The rear view mirror is a device that allows the driver to see backwards. It is usually located at the top of the windshield inside the cabin.
This device is one of the most basic but essential safety devices in the vehicle. It provides assistance to the driver when overtaking, reverse parking, etc. Typically, vehicles also have a pair of mirrors attached to the bodywork from the outside. They are popular as “side mirrors” or exterior rear view mirrors which serve the same purpose.
How to Adjust the Rearview Mirror
An anchor holds the rearview mirror to the windshield with a special type of joint called a “swivel” joint. Allows the driver to adjust the mirror according to their seating position. Nowadays, manufacturers make mirrors using convex lenses as opposed to the normal glass used previously. The use of convex lenses has greatly increased the ability of mirrors to capture distant images. However, the objects reflected in the rear view mirror are closer than they actually appear. This is because the convex lens projects smaller images of the objects. So usually manufacturers print a warning message on the rearview mirror that says “the objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear”. Therefore, to avoid accidents, car rear view mirrors usually carry this warning message.
Although we think of the rearview mirror as a handhold to hang car air fresheners or to check our appearance before getting out of the car, it is normal, after this little information, to understand why, during driving school, we have always been told to properly adjust the rear view mirror. Adjustment must always be made when changing vehicles or moving the driver’s seat according to his driving needs.
Obviously, the dimensions of the rear-view mirror also change according to the size of the vehicle (if we drive an articulated vehicle or a jeep, our rear-view mirror will be wider, in proportion to the rear window and the side mirrors, which can be double the size) in proportion to the driving needs and of the driver.
The rear-view mirror is not only a fundamental part in cars but it is also mandatory in motorcycles and electric bicycles as it allows a more stable and safe ride and greater control of the road without having to turn your head and get distracted from what is in front of you.