5.3 – The Windshield and Mirrors


wipersThe windshield provides the driver’s direct view of traffic and road conditions in front of the vehicle. The driver is positioned in the driver’s seat to look out through the windshield. You must keep your windows clear , and without cracks. You are required by law to have a windshield in place, free of obstructions and without need of repair. If you have a crack or lines in the windshield glass you need to repair it immediately.

  • Windshields protect the vehicle’s occupants from wind, temperature extremes, and flying debris such as dust, insects, and rocks. Properly installed automobile windshields are also essential to safety. UV Coating may be applied to screen out harmful ultraviolet light.
  • Modern windshields are generally made of laminated safety glass that consists of two curved sheets of glass with a plastic layer laminated between them for safety and are glued into the window frame. This glued-in screen contributes to the vehicle’s rigidity.
  • In many places, laws restrict the use of heavily tinted glass in vehicle windshields. Generally, laws specify the maximum level of tint permitted. Note that there is noticeably more tint in the uppermost part of the windshield to help block glare from the sun.
  • Today’s windshields are a safety device just like seat belts and air bags. The installation of the auto glass is done with an automotive grade urethane designed specifically for automobiles. The adhesive creates a molecular bond between the glass and the vehicle. If the adhesive bond fails at any point on the glass it can reduce the effectiveness of the air bag and substantially compromise the structural integrity of the roof.

img_21Mary Anderson is said to have invented the windshield wiper in the United States, where she patented the idea in 1905. The idea was initially met with resistance, but was a standard feature on all American cars by 1916.

Mirrors aid the driver in seeing on the sides and to the rear of the car.

Rear-view Mirror

img_22A rear-view mirror is a mirror in automobiles and other vehicles designed to allow the driver to see rearward through the vehicle’s backlight (rear windshield or windscreen). In cars, the rear-view mirror is usually affixed to the top of the windshield on a double-swivel mount allowing it to be adjusted to suit the height and viewing angle of any driver and to swing harmlessly out of the way if impacted by a vehicle occupant in a collision. The rear-view mirror is augmented by one or more side-view mirrors, which serve as the only rear-vision mirrors on motorcycles and bicycles.

Side Mirrors

img_23The side view mirrors are located on the outside of the vehicle in a position so the driver is able to see to their sides and side rear of the vehicle. The driver will need to check the side mirrors while driving to see where the traffic and other vehicles are positioned. The driver shall check the appropriate mirror for the direction in which the driver intends to make their maneuver. Look right for a right maneuver; and look left for a left maneuver.

tipDo not solely rely on the side view mirrors to give you the complete picture, since all cars have blind spots. The driver should also look over the appropriate shoulder before starting the maneuver.

Mirror Space Setting

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