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Are driver-side convex mirrors helpful or harmful?

This analysis of accident data was designed to replicate and extend an earlier analysis that investigated the effects of different types of driver-side mirrors on lane-change accidents (Luoma, Sivak, and Flannagan, 1995). The present analysis was based on 3,038 lane-change accidents that occurred in Great Britain between 1989 and 1992. Mirror information for the most popular car models in Great Britain was collected to identify different types of exterior mirrors. Data analysis was based on the odds ration of cars with different types of driver-side mirrors (plane or convex) being involved in a lane-change accident to the driver side. Because all cars were equipped with the same type of passenger-side mirror (convex), lane-change accidents to the passenger side served as a baseline data to control for exposure. The results can be summarized as follows: (1) Convex driver-side mirrors do not increase the risk of being involved in lane-change accidents to the driver side. (2) Consistent with the findings of Luoma et al. (1995), accident data for the largest cars revealed a tendency, albeit not statistically significant, for a decrease in lane-change accidents to the driver side when equipped with convex driver-side mirrors. (3) Convex driver-side mirrors tended to be beneficial for the highest risk groups--the youngest and the oldest drivers.