Q: Why Do Side View Mirrors Say That Objects Are Closer Than They Appear?

asked by on November 19, 2015

Why do side view mirrors say that objects are closer than they appear?

The right hand side view mirror is a convex mirror. It gives you that "fish eye" view instead of a more natural flat reflection. Convex mirrors offer you a wider field of vision than regular mirrors, but they have one major difference from typical mirrors; items that are reflected in a convex mirror are closer to you than they seem.

The peep hole in the front door of your house works much the same way. Whenever you look through the peep hole, you see everything on your front porch and they appear to be somewhat distant. However, when you open the door, you see that everything is much closer than you thought. If you happen to run into any problems, consider having a certified mechanic service your door mirrors in order to help you maintain safe driving visibility while on the road.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

How do I manually adjust the anti-glare rear view mirror?

The rear view mirror is an important safety feature that allows you to see what is happening behind your vehicle. At night, however, the glare from the headlights of vehicles behind you can diminish your visibility and your safety. To...

Can I Only Use the Rearview Mirror to Drive in Reverse?

The rear-view mirror in your vehicle is one of several mirrors that we use to gain a safe view of the other cars and obstacles around us while driving. Typically, as the name implies, the main purpose of this mirror...

Why Do Rearview Mirrors Have a Tab at the Bottom?

The tab on the bottom of many rear view mirrors is what is known as the "day/night" adjustment switch. The daytime setting is with the tab pushed toward the front of the vehicle. You should be able to see normally...

Related articles

How to Drive Safely without Mirrors If You Have To
Your Your car has mirrors for a very good reason: you need to see behind you and beside you at all times, or your safety is compromised. You’ll also be a threat to other people on the road. But what...
How to Buy a Good Quality Door Mirror
Side-view Side-view door mirrors are vulnerable to a wide variety of damaging events, such as side-swiping other vehicles, hitting a mailbox, even accidentally catching the side of the garage door frame as you’re backing out. Whatever the problem with your...
Can I Use the Rearview Mirror to Drive in Reverse?
It’s It’s tempting to throw your car in reverse and back up using the rearview mirror to see where you’re going. DO NOT DO THIS! It’s very dangerous to use the car rear view mirror to drive in reverse. This...