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Out, damn’d blind spot

April 11, 2008 | 10:00 am

LatfordblindspotThis could come under the heading of: ‘How did we ever get along without it?’ From early next year, Ford will be fitting its new innovation -- the Blind Spot Mirror -- on to various Ford, Mercury and Lincoln models as standard equipment -- with no addition to the sticker price. It’s a relatively inexpensive thing, but could save money, pain and lives when changing lanes on the freeway or attempting to parallel park.

This will take the place of a normal side-view mirror, but it has an integrated section aimed specifically at a driver’s blind spot. Of course, we’ve all seen people who have subsequently affixed those ‘fish-eye’ aftermarket mirrors, but this is all one piece.

Ford hasn’t finished there. The company will also offer, as an option, the Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System. Imagine reversing out of a parking spot, with visibility limited on each side -- what if there are cars driving down the ‘aisles’ looking for spaces? This system uses radar to detect cross-path traffic within a 65-foot range. Coupled with Ford’s Reverse Sensing System, this can help the driver gauge how much space a car has to maneuver around in.

Yes, we should all use our eyes (and ears), but a little help is always welcome. And buyers obviously won’t make their choices solely on something like a blind spot eliminator. However, it might just tip the scales.

-- Colin Ryan

Photo: Ford