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Comparing side mirrors blind spots - American vs European Tesla Model S (video)

Moscow Tesla Club team have testedAmerican vs European Tesla Model S blind spots difference.
That was done mainly for the russian tesla owners (we have a lot of american teslas here on the roads). But may be ineresting to someone here.

Here is a short video (russian voice, english subtitles - turn them on):



You may know, that US and Europe has different standards for side mirrors. In Europe you get curved mirror that gives smaller blind spot but objects appear to look smaller (like they were far away). In US you'll get more realistic image, but the blind spot is larger.


It attracted our attention after one Tesla owner got in a dangerous situation on the road because of the blind spot. He has an american Tesla Model S and here in Russia we have an european mirror standart (everyone got used to it).

We decided to test what is the actual difference between American and European Model S blind spots and what does it means for a driver.
So, we made measurements with two cars, and got ~35% difference in a left blind spot zone size.


In deed it means that in a case of american standard mirrors - there could be hidden car of tesla's size in a distance of 180 cm (6 feet) in the left blind spot zone. For the european mirrors this distance would be 350 cm (11.5 feet).

Our conclusion: If you got used to european mirrors it's dangerous to drive an american tesla.

PS: And that why an autopilot with a blind spot collision warning is a really good thing to have. :)

PPS: We're going to shoot more videos of that kind. So if it's relevant, I post some of them on TMC.
 
If the side view and rear view mirrors are adjusted properly there is no blind spot on any car. But most people don’t know how to set the mirrors to eliminate the blind spot.
You can't beat a physically wider viewing angle. No matter how you adjust the flat mirror, it still remains flat. We've had a UK market mirror on our S for over a year now, and I feel blind every time I get a loaner. The difference is so noticeable, even the service guys appreciated it.
 
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Really interesting. As a European who lives in the USA, I thought it was weird that I was supposed to look over my shoulder to change lanes (that is nonsense in Europe) and I always thought that was because lanes here are wider, it didn't even cross my mind that the mirrors could be different!
 

croman

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Nov 21, 2016
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Really interesting. As a European who lives in the USA, I thought it was weird that I was supposed to look over my shoulder to change lanes (that is nonsense in Europe) and I always thought that was because lanes here are wider, it didn't even cross my mind that the mirrors could be different!

It's always safer to physically check your blindspot. European mirrors still have them. You might not have learned how to drive safely if you weren't taught to look over in the direction and area where you intend to move.
 
It's always safer to physically check your blindspot. European mirrors still have them. You might not have learned how to drive safely if you weren't taught to look over in the direction and area where you intend to move.

Sorry, I didn't mean it to never check it, I've learned to check it, but that in the USA the blind spot is so large that instead of glancing to my side I need to fully turn my head while I'm still moving forward.
 
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Sorry, I didn't mean it to never check it, I've learned to check it, but that in the USA the blind spot is so large that instead of glancing to my side I need to fully turn my head while I'm still moving forward.
That's just sad. Implying that the other party is an unsafe driver in a surprisingly stubborn attempt to defend a bureaucratic provision the rest of the world disagrees with. Why would you willfully refuse having a wider viewing angle? There have been multiple motions to allow manufacturers to ship cars with convex driver side mirrors in the US, even some third party patented designs, but the DOT won't budge.

Obviously, checking the blind spot is a must, but there's a big difference between a side glance vs having to fully turn your head away from the direction you're heading. That's just downright scary.
 
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Bummer that there's apparently no good source for these. I just picked up my 3 a couple of weeks ago and really miss the euro aspheric mirrors I had on my Golf. I was hoping if I jumped on the S forums, there would be more info on sourcing euro parts for when they start making the 3 available in Europe (mirrors, taillights come to mind).

I simply don't see the utility in mirrors that are 100% filled up by a truck's grille. The aspheric euro driver's side wing mirrors are amazing, once you get used to them you'll never want to go back. Getting a complete picture of what's behind and to your side is invaluable. For example, you can see when a vehicle 2 lanes over is moving into the lane you're attempting to move into. Yes, you *might* see this when you look over your shoulder, or maybe they don't start moving until you look forward again, so you'll miss it, but with euro mirrors you'd see it in your mirror in your peripheral vision.

And yes, I know, blah blah, if your mirrors are adjusted properly, blah blah. I do some instructing. I preach this stuff too. You need to adjust your mirrors properly, there's no point in duplicating your rearview or ensuring your door handles are attached at all times.

Euro mirrors are simply better. It's a mathematical fact that you will see more on one, at the expense of nothing (except dollars). Don't go flat earth on us. (and the glue-on convex ones are ugly and functionally different from what we're looking for).

If flat mirrors are so great, try one on your passenger side!
 
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+1. In addition to leaving the cam up, I read about this a couple years ago after it being recommended on this forum and realized this was a much better way to set up side mirrors instead of the "align so you can see your car in the edge" method that we were taught 25 years ago.

one of the nice things about the Leaf is that the side mirrors have a little pointed inside edge that means if you align it so the inside edge barely shows the side of the car the meat of the mirror is adjusted for blind spots as advised.

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Are Model 3 mirrors different from the S? The housing looks pretty similar, but I've never had a chance to compare them up close side by side.

Wow, this is a REALLY good point, I hadn't even thought about it. I'll have to find an S to compare to sometime soon. I'm sure the Euro parts would be expensive given they have to dim as well as heat. (For reference, I paid about $100 for a pair of mirror glass for a car with blind spot warning LED + heating, but no dimming).

one of the nice things about the Leaf is that the side mirrors have a little pointed inside edge that means if you align it so the inside edge barely shows the side of the car the meat of the mirror is adjusted for blind spots as advised.

I've not driven a Leaf, but I suspect I adjust my mirrors wayyy further out than that, for that small extra piece to make the difference. More like head-against-window before you can see the side of the car. It doesn't help that the 3 is particularly hard to see out of-- generally an increasing curse on modern cars, but I think the 3 is worse than the S from what I remember. This matters a little bit less on the driver's side, where, due to your seating position, it's harder to shoulder check that rear 3/4 anyway, but of course is then exacerbated by the bad flat mirror.
 
To reply to myself:

Turns out it doesn't matter, at least on the 3. The mirrors don't adjust out far enough. Almost daily I'm surprised to find a vehicle in my blind spot when I do a shoulder check to lane change. The large pillars don't particularly help (I had never owned a 4 door car until 2 years ago; thankfully this isn't my first or it would be even worse!)

Still need to find an S to compare with, very tempted to pull the trigger on euro S glass to give it a try.

Since I haven't lived with an S on a day to day basis, I can't say whether or not I'd have the same problems with the S mirrors not going out far enough.
 

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