Blind Spot

My first technical complaint about the Roadster is the large driver’s side blind spot. I am lucky to rarely have to drive in heavy traffic and while on the freeway I do not drive with the pack. After 5,000 miles of driving, I have really noticed how large the blind spot is on the driver’s side of the car.

View When Checking Your Blind Spot

View When Checking Your Blind Spot

The large blind spot occurs on the left hand side when a car is not visible through either the the driver’s side mirror or window. What is uniquely different about the Roadster than a conventional car is that you really cannot turn your head and check the blind spot. Your head is so close to the side of the car and the car frame is so large, there is simply no visibility behind the window. What you see is the car frame — especially when the hard top is on. On a typical four door car, turning your head provides lots of visibility through the rear door window and back window.

This large blind spot can be dangerous when merging on the freeway, changing lanes, parallel parking and parking on the left hand side of diagonal parking.

The federal government safety standard does require that the driver’s side mirrors be of “unit magnification”, which means that the surface is neither shrinking or magnifying any objects. On the passenger side, the federal regulations allow some distortion and require the familiar warning “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”. One company offers an after market convex mirror that you can glue onto your existing side mirrors.

What I would like to see for the Roadster is something similar to Ford’s Blind Spot Mirror, which was announced in 2008. The upper left hand corner of the mirror is a small convex mirror that covers the blind spot. This video shows you how the Ford mirror works and would be a great addition for the Roadster.

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