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Convex mirrors use – Car mirrors

There are three main mirrors in a car.

The interior rear view mirror is high up and in the middle of the inside of the windscreen. This is usually a mirror made with flat glass.

The other two are the passenger side and driver side mirrors.

In Europe, since the year 2000, all exterior passenger side and driver's side mirrors are convex mirrors.

In the USA the passenger side mirror is a convex mirror but the driver's side mirror is a flat/plane.

Convex mirrors are used on the outside mirrors of cars because they provide a wide field of view and the image is upright.

One disadvantage of these convex mirrors on cars is that the image of other cars often appear twice as far away as they actually are. This is because convex mirrors always create smaller images. Drivers have to learn to adjust to this difference when pulling out into a lane.

See below the difference between a flat and convex car mirror. In the convex mirror you get a much bigger field of view.

Difference between images seen in flat and convex car mirrors


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