When driving, it’s important to keep an eye on your mirrors. As many have no doubt noticed, the mirror on the passenger side has a warning printed near the bottom: “Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.” Why is that?
At first I thought it might be due to the driver’s position. Perhaps because the driver is further away from the passenger side mirror, the objects in the mirror don’t appear as close as they really are. Sounded plausible, but that’s not really the case.
According to the Straight Dope, the reason has to do with the way the mirrors are made. The mirror on the driver’s side is a simple flat mirror. However, the mirror on the passenger side is convex, meaning it bulges outwards.
This comes with positives and negatives. On the plus side, a convex mirror allows the driver to see a wider angle of what’s behind them. That helps with blind spots. But, as the mirror’s warning suggests, the objects in the mirror aren’t shown at an accurate distance.
So, that’s that. Now on to an even more pressing question. Got any theories as to why the gas tank is sometimes on the left hand side of the car and sometimes on the right? Is there any logic to this? Got a theory? Please leave a comment below.
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