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Using the rear view mirror
helped Ray Harroun win the first Indianapolis 500 race in May 1911. He won $14250 which was the biggest prize money for any auto race in the world. The absence of the mechanic and the advantage of knowing where exactly were all drivers behind him helped a lot. The rear view mirror was introduced by car makers in 1914 and the side view mirror made its debut soon after.
The rear view mirror was very useful but had a few disadvantages. Presence of passengers in the rear seat would block the vision of the driver. Secondly, the driver could never have a clear view of the cars to the left or to the right. The rear view mirror focused on the center alone.
Driver side mirrors changed all that. These mirrors were fitted to the A pillar, the material supporting the windshield. The driver needed to just tilt the head and he or she would have a clear view of cars to the left, right and center of the vehicle.
Aftermarket side mirror can be fitted to the driver's as well as the passenger's side. However, both these mirrors are adjusted in such a manner that the line of vision of the driver is unimpaired.
The driver side mirror
has become a lot more popular as compared to the other mirror. The mirror uses planar glass and this gives an accurate estimate of the vehicles driving behind. Further, the combination of the center and the drivers side mirror was enough for most drivers to change lanes carefully.Installing mirrors outside the car created many problems. The driver had to push the hand out of the car to adjust the mirror. Secondly, the mirror was exposed to the elements and there was no way one could cover the car driver side mirror without making it useless.
Further, the protrusion led to car makers considering the aerodynamics of the vehicle as well. Simply fitting a plain mirror helped lower resistance but the absence of a frame meant that a gust of wind could render the mirror pointing in the wrong direction. Manually adjusting the mirror again and again only added to the risk. Further, the glass would easily get damaged from any stray pebble. All this meant that the frame assembly became indispensable for the driver's side mirror.
This problem was solved by coming up with frames that had curved back sides that would let the wind slide over the surface with least resistance. This was the best option because it ensured the driver side mirror's alignment would not change.1958 saw the introduction of electrically powered driver's side mirror. This was a huge improvement as the mirror could be adjusted to precision without pushing the hand out of the car. Fog and snow made these mirrors useless. That is the reason why heated mirrors became popular. The heat would ensure 100% visibility at all times.
The World Wide Web has made it easier to buy these mirrors. All one has to do is log on to our store and view Automotix
products to choose the right mirror with the right features and finalize the purchase online.