Such a Simple Idea -- and Yet so Very Important

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Alert: An object to solve your car's "blind-spot" problem may be closer than it appears.

An online and catalog marketing company, firstSTREET, headquartered near Richmond, VA, offers a product that company officials term "an answer to a driving problem that costs as many as 160,000 lives in the United States every year."

That problem is a vehicle's blind spot, a small area of highway that cannot be seen by a driver through either the rear- or side-view mirrors. According to the U. S. Department of Transportation, more than 413,000 accidents are blind-spot related, with damage to over 826,000 vehicles annually. These numbers are a testament to the difficulty of perfectly lining up and overlapping the images from all three of a car's mirrors, yet that's the hat trick generally essential for a total view of the road.

firstSTREET's solution is a distortion-free lens that adheres to side-view mirrors to make blind spots more accessible to view. "There are lots of stick-on mirrors out there," says firstSTREET COO Chris Fawcett. "What's different about ours is that it presents a larger view than many of the others, to provide a big, clear image of the car or person in your blind spot."

Fawcett points out that his company focuses on finding and marketing products designed to offer solutions to problems frequently encountered by that largest of generational markets, the baby boomers. "While we have a multi-generational catalog, we do pride ourselves on coming up with items of special interest to 'baby boomers and beyond,'" says Fawcett, quoting a company slogan.

Fawcett goes on to say that as we age, "we often find there are more constraints on our physical movements, like turning the head over the shoulder or rotating the body, both of which affect one's ability to deal with blind spots and lane changes. Drivers who fear they can't rely on their mirrors frequently address the blind spot problem by turning their heads quickly and looking over a shoulder, but for some even that limited a rotation can be a painful effort."

It's also certainly true that vision problems become more prevalent with age, so if there's a problem in one eye or the other, and that eye happens to be the one you're depending on to check out left or right sides of the road, then it's easier to miss something or even not to trust what you're seeing. "With our BlindSPOT mirrors," says Fawcett, "you do get a much larger view, and you're seeing it with both eyes."

The firstSTREET catalog and online copy bills these mirrors as "easy to install and fully adjustable," and Fawcett confirms that they go on quickly with a super strength all-weather bonding strip that comes with the mirror purchase. The mirror is also shatterproof and anti-fog.

"Every vehicle has a blind spot," says Fawcett, "and the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. SUVs, for instance, have larger blind zones than small cars, and a tractor-trailer blind spot is huge. I'll bet there's no driver out there who's been on the road more than a few months who hasn't had the experience of checking the side mirror, seeing nothing, getting ready to pull out, and hearing the blare of the horn of the car that's driving in the blind spot. It's a frightening moment, and firstSTREET is pleased to offer an inexpensive, easy and what we consider to be the best solution to a common, and often dangerous, problem."

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Jeremy Hauser
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