I have had cause to interview drivers on their hospital beds to find out how the accidents they were involved in actually happened. “I was just going when I had a loud noise,” gbaa, many of them said. You mean you did not see the other vehicle? I would further inquire. “Haa! I did not see it o,” you would mostly get as an answer. What happened after? You asked further. “I don’t know o, after the gbaa, that was all I heard; I did not know anything again until I found myself here in the hospital.” Quite lucky to be alive, I am sure you will agree with me.
You may be wondering what happened. Simple, there was a “Blind spot” problem. Then what is a blind spot? It is a direction or an area on the bad road where vision is obscured. It is an area which you are not likely to see clearly from your driving seat. Your side and rear view mirrors are not going to capture this direction or area clearly or may not even have the images at all.
Blind spot or Black spot? A lot of people get confused with the two. While the blind spot, as already explained, concerns areas of visual obstruction on the road, black spots are prone to accidents. There may be a particular spot or stretch on the road with high incidence of accidents. It may be a bend, a crest of a hill, a bad spot on the road, maybe with a big pothole or a poorly designed portion or stretch of a road. Erosion could have washed away some parts of the road, creating a big hole or a sharp gap just before a bridge. Sand and other debris could be dragged into the road, creating constant hazards. The result, of course, is continuous occurrence of accidents in such areas.
Let us go back to the issue of focus, your blind spot. A normal two-eyed person has 210-degree angle of vision. This means you see beyond the straight line to your eyes. We all know that straight lines are on 180 degree. You see far beyond your immediate front, with your eyes, of course. That is the reason; you can see the lines on your palms when you place the palms behind your horizontal straight line of vision, around the sides of your head where the ears are. You can still steal a glimpse. A one-eyed person, of course, has a reduced vision. His angle of vision is 150 degrees. Probably you are wondering why it is not half of 210 degrees for a bi-visionary person. The reason is that there are areas of overlap for the two eyes, the areas that are seen together by the two eyes. The areas that cannot be seen by the eyes at a particular period are then considered the blind spots.
When we look through the mirrors, what we see are reflected images. Lights shine on images and then bounce or strike on the mirrors through a reflection to create reverse images in the mirrors. Since lights travel on straight lines, there are areas that are not covered by the straight lines, encompassing the angle of vision. These become the blind spots to the mirrors and the eyes. Modern technology has attempted widening our angle of vision through the emergence of blind spot mirrors. However, we need to admit the fact that we cannot see it all. There will always be blind spots.
Identifying Some of Your Blind Spots While Driving
Vehicle’s front: Definitely you cannot see your front number plate from your driving seat. You cannot see around that area of a vehicle. So, if you parked your vehicle for some time and you need to move away later, please check that area of the vehicle before you enter; a child may be playing there. Do not commit manslaughter, please.
Vehicle’s rear: Just as you cannot see the front number plate, same goes for the rear plate and its immediate surroundings. Check well, an object that could damage your car may have been placed to obstruct your reverse movements or more dangerously; a life may be lurking around that place. Watch out for children and pets too.
*Kayode Olagunju, Ph.D., is Assistant Corps Marshal/Head, Policy, Research and Statistics Department at the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). He is the author of the book, Road Sense with Kayode OLAGUNJU.
Source business & economywatch