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Wing mirror of a Volkswagen Fox. Only the outer end (from a visible dividing line) provides a wide angle view from the driver's side.

A wing mirror (also known as a door mirror, side mirror or side-view mirror, especially in American English) is a mirror found on the exterior of motor vehicles for the purposes of helping the driver see areas behind and to the sides of the vehicle, outside of the driver's peripheral vision (in the 'blind spot').

Although almost all modern cars mount their side mirrors on the doors, normally at the "A" pillar, rather than the wings (fenders), the term is still frequently used.

Car manufacturers sometimes incorporate the side indicator signals on the mirrors. This is due to the higher visibility to oncoming vehicles and pedestrians, who would see the indicator signals at a higher height when turning.[1]

They are often referred to erroneously as rear-view mirrors.

Contents

Types of wing mirrors

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Car

Side-view mirror with a caution note "Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".
Driver's control for Wing mirrors, with tiny curb-view button (saab 9-5).

In the United States and Canada, passenger-side mirrors have this text written on the lower part of the mirror:

Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

This is because passenger-side mirrors are convex to allow the drivers to get a wide-angle view of the road—behind them, and to the sides — but at the same time, they cause objects to appear more distant.

The flat mirror used on driver's-side mirrors, on the other hand, would not cause the same distortion.

Wing mirror retraction control (Saab 9-5).

The vast majority of newer cars allow for the mirrors to be adjusted electronically.

Some car manufacturers allow mirrors to be either manually pushed or electrically folded in, to protect them when they are parked. Passing cars can easily clip wing mirrors that stick out, causing damage; the folding capability helps protect them from harm.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Side mirror with indicator light - Patent 4475100". Freepatentsonline.com. 1982-02-22. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4475100.html. Retrieved 2009-12-08.  

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