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Wide angle rear view mirror.
Wide angle rear view mirror.


Tested: Are wide-angle rear-view mirrors a good idea? Add to ...

Tested: Fit System wide-angle rear-view mirror

Available: Canadian Tire, Advance Auto Parts, Amazon.

I’ve wanted to try one of those wide-angle rear-view mirrors forever, but have been afraid to put one in my car. They are huge, and signal to anyone peeking into my cockpit that I’m an aggressive driver who will be doing some Days of Thunder style lane changes. The goal of these add-ons is to give you a bigger field of view; it doesn’t promise to eliminate your blind spot, but it is supposed to help you avoid cranking your neck for over-the-shoulder checks.

As soon as I clamped it over my mirror I had a new appreciation for the phrase “less is more.” Whenever I hear that, my inner pedant barks: “Really? because I’m pretty sure more is more.” But even in the area of car accessories, where the operating principle is “more is better,” this was too much.

The model I tested (costing about $18) is curved, so there is a vague fisheye effect that is unsettling. Even after a few days I couldn’t get comfortable with what I was seeing. Second, I was seeing too much: everything in my back seat, out the rear windows and, most disconcertingly, my own face. Every time I looked up. That is the strangest part of the experience, and it reminded me that auto makers know what they are doing: if the wide-angle mirror was more awesome and not weird, every Honda or Dodge would come with one.

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