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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear
Thanks Shelly @tropical mum for explaining how to upload images on blogger!
Check out her blog, maybe she will help you someday.
“The phrase ‘Objects in mirror are closer than they appear’ is a safety warning that is required to be engraved on passenger side mirrors of motor vehicles in the USA, India, Canada, Korea and Australia. It is present because while these mirrors' convexity gives them a useful field if view, it also makes objects appear smaller.”*

Whose brilliant idea was this? 

“Hey let’s screw around with the side view mirror so the driver can see a lot.”

“Yeah, but then the driver won’t have an accurate perspective of where other vehicles are.”

“No problem, we will just etch a warning on the mirror that says ‘Objects in mirror are closer than they appear’.”

“How much closer?”

“You know…closer than you think.”

“How do you know what people think?  Maybe it should say ‘might seem closer than you might think.’”

“Look there was a committee that decided on the language…it stays."

“Won’t there be accidents because the driver is reading that message and not paying attention to his driving?”


“What about people that don’t read English? “

“Well, we could etch the warning in several languages.”

“Then you couldn’t see anything in the mirror.”

“How about we just etch the mirrors in the USA, Canada, India and Australia?  After a few years we can compare these countries with the non-etched warning countries and see who has the most accidents on the passenger side of the car.”

“OK.  Here is another idea.  We put a really huge front bumper on all cars and etch a warning on the windshield “Objects in front of you are closer to your huge front bumper than you think.”


I don’t know about you, but I would prefer my mirrors to all show objects where they really are.  I look in my driver side mirror and I see a car behind me…looks too close to change lanes.  Then I look in my rear view mirror…still looks too close, then I look in the passenger mirror…it’s not so close, I can move over.  So I start to move over to the right,   “SHIT!!! That car is right on top of me.”

Damn…I forgot:  OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.   Couldn’t they make that warning a little bigger?



*From Wikipedia


  1. And just think how challenging that is for us women when we've spent years trying to convince ourselves that our bums are actually SMALLER than they appear in the mirror!!

    Thank god I a) live in the UK where we don't have that etched on our mirror and b) don't drive anyway :)

  2. Lets see....they now have electronic sensors that will blink red in your side mirrors if anyone is beside you....and sensors/cameras that tell you if anyone is behind you....and sensors that tell you if anyone ahead of you is stopped and then applies your brakes for you....and sensors that can see the curb and parallel park for you....and sensors that tell you if you're going to fast on a bad road and stabilize you before you skid....and sensors that keep you from braking too hard and locking up....

    And they wonder why people have such poor driving skills these days. We're barely one notch above riders on a bus. Soon we'll have stickers that say "Get in, sit down, shut up, hold on".


  3. So much more well said than my "that's just stupid" thought when I notice that warning sign on a side mirror.

  4. I was waiting for you to post that clip from Jurassic Park where the T-Rex is chasing their Jeep and the mirror says, "Objects may be closer than they appear!." I always laugh at that scene.

  5. I always laugh when I'm being chased by a T-Rex.

  6. I once wrote, "Objects in mirror are stupider than they appear" on a piece of Scotch Tape & put it on the driver's side mirror of my husband's car. I thought it was funny. He didn't even notice it!!

  7. Well, we have cars that park themselves, have reverse cameras, beep warnings for everything, fifty airbags per car (minimum) and windscreen wipers that come on when they sense that the windscreen is wet. I'm sure it won't be long before we won't even have to drive.

  8. I'm sure there must be a perfectly good reason behind those strange mirrors, but at the moment, I can't think of any. Funny post!

  9. Haha good point! Thinking of changing lanes and using that dang mirror gives me anxiety...

  10. Hilarious! My old clunker was hit in a parking lot while I was setting in the car. :/ The guy that backed into it got out ranting at me. Your car wasn't there when I went in the store! Uh yeah dude, that happens sometimes. Of course it happened on private property so it was up to me and dumb butt to sort out. :/

  11. I thought of Jurassic Park too - love that scene.


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