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Interpreting the appearance of things farther than they really are in the car mirror

Cars usually have a number of different alerts to warn drivers, one of these famous alerts is found on the side mirrors of cars, and it says: “The things you see in the mirror are closer than they seem.”

This warning is present in most new cars, and I certainly wondered the reason behind this alert, and why the passenger side mirror cannot show things accurately as they really are, this question will be clarified in the coming lines.

Experts answered this question, saying that it is simply due to safety and security considerations while driving, as our view of surrounding objects depends on how light reflects on them, and that the reflection of the path of light on objects is affected by a number of elements, including the structure, shape and color of this object, whether it is a car Or a bike, for example.

The experts added, that the properties of the thing we see may not be identical to its original properties as it is on the ground, in the event that the images we see are reflected from intermediate surfaces such as a mirror, and that this is related to the nature of the intermediate surface that reflected the image.

One of the main reasons for the different distances of objects in the mirror is the shape of the mirror itself. For example, in America the passenger side mirrors are convex in shape “slightly curved outward”, while the driver’s side mirrors are flat.

This helps reduce the driver’s blind spots on that side of the car, giving a wider field of view, but distorting the reflected image and making cars appear further away.

Whereas the mirror on the driver’s side gives a more accurate picture of what is behind the car with a more narrow field of view, as the light is reflected in the same direction in which it reaches the mirror, and does not distort the reflection of objects, and when the reflections generated by both women on both ends of the car meet in the driver’s field of vision, The driver will be able to see wider areas on the passenger side, while keeping their eyes on the main road.