Car side mirror: why do things look farther than they actually are?

In fact, the importance of having a car side mirror lies in the fact that it helps the driver to see the road and the objects behind and on both sides of the car, so that the driver avoids approaching any source of danger, in addition to avoiding collision with another car.

Car side mirror

A note is usually attached to these side mirrors, by manufacturers of the world's most luxurious cars or even electric cars, and this observation indicates that the side car mirror shows objects farther and smaller than they actually are. That is, you may see a car far away from you through the side mirror, but it is actually a little closer to you than you see through the mirror. There must be a reason to design the side mirror to show the reflection of objects differently from reality.

We can see the objects around us by the eye or by the reflection of light on these objects and the eyes receive their reflection. The brain then analyzes objects according to various factors including shape, colors, sizes, and the distance that separates us from that body. Also, sometimes we may see those objects by reflecting them in another medium. Such as a mirror that may not necessarily show objects with their correct reflection.

An interpretation after objects in the Car side mirror

The United States of America adopts a mirror-shape pattern in modern cars, so that the driver's side mirror is flat in shape, while the passenger side mirror on the other side is convex, i.e. it has a slight curvature to the outside. Convex-shaped mirrors mirror objects in a way that makes them look smaller, farther away. It also allows the driver to see a wider horizon than the field of view shown by ordinary flat mirrors. However, they show things farther away from the driver than their real dimension.

This means that the side mirror of the car that is next to the driver's seat is flat. It helps the driver see what is behind him on the road correctly and accurately, but the range of his vision of the street and neighboring objects is limited. A flat mirror reflects light equal to the light that falls on it. The side mirror on the other side, i.e. next to the passenger seat, is made in a convex shape. It also helps to show the road more than the other mirror.
The driver can thus see a wide area of the road. As well as his perception of the proximity of the rest of the objects around him correctly. In addition to focusing on the street in front of him, which reduces the likelihood of accidents and increases the guarantee of the safety of the driver and his vehicle.

Why not use concave mirrors in cars?

Some may wonder why concave-oriented mirrors are not used in the design of the car's side mirror for cars. The rationale for this is that the concave mirror reflects objects and looks larger in size compared to its normal size. If this type of mirror (concave mirrors) is used, it will cause the appearance of large objects. The road will not fully appear, hindering the correct driving process and not providing it with protection and safety.

This system is in place in the United States, but the government there is testing the possibility of implementing a different system. It is the system adopted in European countries, where the design of the side mirrors of cars becomes that both are convex, instead of one of them being flat, and the other convex.
Whatever the shape of the car's side mirror of your car, don't forget to constantly inspect them and avoid driving mistakes, as well as don't forget to focus on them when cornering, stopping, and more. Follow all the instructions that aim to protect you and preserve your life.

How to adjust the mirrors of your car in simple steps?

Maybe your car mirror seems set in the right way, but is it really set to avoid the blind spot? Before we tell you how to adjust the mirror, you should always know that the adjustment process depends on the appearance of the side of the car in the mirror, the appearance of the sides of your car in the mirror will make you feel more confident in what you see around you as a reference point, but it is useless to see it because it is fixed all the time.
The appearance of too many sides of the car will obscure you from seeing the blind spot. Keeping the mirror away from the sides of the car too much will block you from seeing the car that may overtake you.

Here are a number of simple steps I've prepared for you to teach you how you can adjust your car's mirrors in simple steps:
  1. Bend your head to the left until it almost touches the driver's window, then adjust the left side mirror until the rear quarter of the car appears.
  2. Bend your body to the right to the center of the car (center hospice), then adjust the right side woman until the right rear quarter of the car appears.
  3. The center mirror only needs to be adjusted to be flat and show the entire back window.

Why can't the passenger's side mirror show things exactly as they actually are?

The answer to this question can be summarized in that it is due to safety and security considerations, as how we see the things around us depends on how light reflects from these things, and this process is influenced by the structure, shape, and color of the object, in addition to its other properties, these qualities affect the path of light reflected from these objects and its intensity.

But, when the images we see are reflected from intermediate surfaces such as a mirror, the properties of the object we see may not be identical to its original properties as it is on the ground, and this concerns the nature of the intermediate surface that reflected the image.

The shape of the mirror makes a big difference in our perceptions, for example, in the USA, the side mirrors of the passengers are convex in shape "slightly curved outwards", while the side mirrors of the driver are flat, where the convex mirror placed on the side of the passenger reduces the blind spots of the driver on that side of the car, giving a wider field of view, but it makes the cars appear far away due to the slight distortion caused by the shape.

The blind spot, for those who do not know, is an area of the eye devoid of light receptors, so the part opposite it is invisible, and it is the brain that completes that obscured area to form the full picture, based on the details captured by the other eye, and the details surrounding the blind spot, so we do not actually feel its presence.

On the other hand, the side mirror on the driver's side gives a more accurate picture of what is behind the car with a narrower field of view; the light is reflected in the same direction as it reaches the mirror, and does not distort the reflection of objects, and when the reflections resulting from both mirrors on both ends of the car combine in the driver's field of view, the driver will be able to see wider areas on the passenger end, while keeping his gaze on the main road.

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