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Old 17th March 2014, 17:38   #1
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Default Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

This is regarding the recent trend in car makers of providing mirror shell mounted turn indicators as a high-end variant feature. If this was an addition, it would have been very welcome as a sort of cute 'bling-bling' IMO but of little value addition in any other sense. Unfortunately, many car makers are resorting to deleting the fender mounted indicator in favor of the mirror mounted one. There are brands that continue to provide both fender mounted and the mirror mounted ones, but these are very few.

Coming to the crux of the matter, I think removal of the fender mounted indicator has made driving in the vicinity of such cars dangerous. Consider the case where one of these high-end variant cars with the mirror mounted indicator is just ahead of me (say to the left) and I am just ahead of the point where my eye can catch the blinking rear-right indicator on the leading car. At this point if the leading car flicks his right-turn signal on, I have no way of knowing. The mirror mounted flasher is only going to be visible from the front two quarters of the car (redundant anyway since there is already one doing that job). Had there been a regular fender mounted turn lamp, I would have been alerted.

I would also like to mention that on the first cars where these things appeared, they were designed with the indicator lens extending right up to the brim of the mirror shell. And the lens itself had a raised shape all around - ostensibly to ensure near 180 degree visibility for the flashing lamp. In such a design, the above situation is less likely to occur.

Unfortunately, the me-too copies of this in the newer cars provides visibility only in a very limited range in the front half of the vehicle and creates a hazardous situation described above.

Granted that in the above scenario, I am technically in the blind zone (or nearabouts) of the leading car and this kind of driving is unsafe and probably illegal in some countries. But unavoidable in India and especially bengalooroo. Am I missing something here or does an issue as described above really exist?

PS: Raised this query based on an actual street experience

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Old 17th March 2014, 17:54   #2
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

If you notice, the actual LED matrix behind the reflector of these ORVM mounted Indicators are placed on the corners in such a way that:
  • Even if one is riding/driving next to this car, the driver on the other car (if attentive) will easily be able to spot the blinking indicator
  • These indicators will also be easily visible from a perpendicular angle for others to the car (say taking a U-Turn or crisscrossing traffic an intersection)
However, let us say that you are on a bike and you have crossed these mirrors (and now riding parallel to the fender) and then the fella in the car turns his indicator on: Mostly you wont be able to notice this easily unless you have a habit of looking at your ORVMs and spot them blinking in the mirrors. Plus the fact that these LEDs now keep blinking at a higher level (almost a foot below your eyes if on bike or same level if you are driving a car) means less chances of not noticing them too.

I think, its too less a chance for blaming accidents or collisions or mishaps due to the non availability of indicators on fenders.

I have seen that with indicators on the ORVMs the "territory" of your car during emergency parking is wider since these indicators are brightest at their tips and someone passing your car at night will still manage to keep a foot's distance more than side swiping your mirrors otherwise.

Sometimes you can even spot the vehicle at rear trying to take a Left or Right turn by seeing the blinking ORVMs in your ORVMs if that vehicle is tailing too close to you such that his headlight cluster is not visible to you (where the front indicators lights are usually placed).

To sum it up, its convex ORVMs along with a driver's usual practice of being attentive that can prevent disasters on our roads. I for one feel that the indicators on ORVMs are indeed better in many use cases on our roads.

Last edited by paragsachania : 17th March 2014 at 18:05.
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Old 17th March 2014, 17:55   #3
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by isiv View Post
...Unfortunately, many car makers are resorting to deleting the fender mounted indicator in favor of the mirror mounted one. There are brands that continue to provide both fender mounted and the mirror mounted ones, but these are very few...
Wrong! To have both fender indicator & ORVM indicator together is illegal. No manufacturers will provide both. (Eg. i20 - While ONLY models from Magna have the OVRM mounted indicators, the below models come with fender mounted indicator). So it has to be either on the fender or on the ORVM. The cars which you usually see both sporting are the ones having an integrated indicator cover for the mirror.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isiv View Post
...I would also like to mention that on the first cars where these things appeared, they were designed with the indicator lens extending right up to the brim of the mirror shell. And the lens itself had a raised shape all around - ostensibly to ensure near 180 degree visibility for the flashing lamp. In such a design, the above situation is less likely to occur....
Could you tell me which car did you face this problem in? As far as I understand, every car with a ORVM mounted indicator has it's strip extended to the tip of the mirror so that anyone behind can see the indicator blinking.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 17th March 2014 at 17:57.
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Old 17th March 2014, 17:59   #4
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Another question. What is the benefit for the driver if his/her car got a turn indicator on ORVM? I feel it is just a feel good factor rather than practicality.
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambadan View Post
Another question. What is the benefit for the driver if his/her car got a turn indicator on ORVM? I feel it is just a feel good factor rather than practicality.
My opinions.

1. Cleans up the car. You get a hole-less panel doesnt disturb the lines of the car. Fender mounted ones usually stands out in a car with a dark color.

2. I feel ORVM mounted ones are brighter.. LED's are catchy from far.. And kind of mellow up when close.. Rarely seen an LED blinker on the fender. So increases visiblity.

3. Bling as you mentioned! Always fancied those blinkers. Thet used to look classy mostly in Merc's from late 90's.
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:19   #6
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This is something I have always wondered. Does this have any benefit. From what I have seen it seems to be a fancy feature. In most cases they don't seem to be designed well enough to even enhance the visual appeal of the car( for example like alloy wheels). Most manufacturers advertise it as a fancy feature and it is mostly available only in the top trims. Am I missing something?
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:20   #7
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Many a times I have had problems with oncoming cars with high beam. For example it is difficult to realize the turn indicator of old gen swift/dzire when the high beam is on because of the close proximity of the indicators to the headlamp. In such a situation the ORVM indicator is quite handy. Purely my personal opinion.
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:22   #8
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambadan View Post
Another question. What is the benefit for the driver if his/her car got a turn indicator on ORVM? I feel it is just a feel good factor rather than practicality.
Rather than a feel good factor, I see practicality. The height of the mirror helps in the viewing angle as well. I actually find the ORVM indicator brighter than the fender mounted ones
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Old 17th March 2014, 18:31   #9
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambadan View Post
Another question. What is the benefit for the driver if his/her car got a turn indicator on ORVM? I feel it is just a feel good factor rather than practicality.
It is much more visible than the fender mounted indicator.
Remember, the early years of motoring relied on the stretched out hand signals for indicating the turns, which is most closely mimicked by these ORVM mounted turn indicators. They 'stretch out' and indicates.
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Old 17th March 2014, 19:36   #10
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by isiv View Post
Unfortunately, many car makers are resorting to deleting the fender mounted indicator in favor of the mirror mounted one. There are brands that continue to provide both fender mounted and the mirror mounted ones, but these are very few.

C.
are you are about that? I don't know about India, but in most (western) countries having indicators at the "four edges" of the car is mandatory and thus a legal requirement.

What is/are the legal requirement in India when it comes to indicators?

Which cars. types are doing away with fender mounted indicators?

Jeroen
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Old 17th March 2014, 19:52   #11
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by human_wheels View Post
Many a times I have had problems with oncoming cars with high beam. For example it is difficult to realize the turn indicator of old gen swift/dzire when the high beam is on because of the close proximity of the indicators to the headlamp. In such a situation the ORVM indicator is quite handy.
Indicator, either on ORVM or on the fender, if the headlamps are on & in high beam mode (of course at night), it is quite hard to figure out if the indicator is flashing, signalling a move.

After realizing this, I always lower my beam when I switch the indicator on.
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Old 17th March 2014, 22:00   #12
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

I believe for this scenario, indicator at the edge of the mirror works better. With this type of OVRMs, both the cars and two wheelers riding along the side of the car/vehicle can easily notice the turn signal.
But this OVRM is bit expensive than OVRMs with turn indicator at the outer shell.
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Speaking of switching headlights to lower beams while using turn indicators, I have seen few new Audis which automatically turns off the DLR of that side(right or left based on the turn) when the turn indicator is on and not sure about the headlights but I believe it turns off the headlight too.
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Old 18th March 2014, 00:13   #13
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Default re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by isiv View Post
At this point if the leading car flicks his right-turn signal on, I have no way of knowing. The mirror mounted flasher is only going to be visible from the front two quarters of the car. Had there been a regular fender mounted turn lamp, I would have been alerted.
You are mistaken buddy.

I own a 2013 Swift ZDi and my dad has a 2014 Ertiga ZDi that has the turn indicators integrated onto the ORVM. Initially I was a bit angry seeing that design as it is useless and will have more accidents causing than alerting the other road users when the indicators are used as it would not be visible t people on the sides and near the rear 3 quarters. BUT I was wrong when I actually saw the car in flesh and the indicators.

Brilliant design by Maruti and very thoughtful to get things visible to all road users at all angles of the car. How, look at the picture below and the circle in Red!

Picture - 1:
Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators-dsc03987.jpg

Picture - 2:
Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators-20140211_172634.jpg

In Picture - 1, the indicator strip totally has 6 LED bulbs that are placed in a parts of 3. The two red circles each have 3 LED bulbs so,

---> The one near the end of the ORVM will lighten up for the road users who are near the rear end of the car but further than the rear indicator and,

---> The ones in the centre of the ORVM will light for the users who see from front end.

In Picture - 2 The circle in red shows the indicator LED flashing ON and it is clearly visible in that angle of view which almost behind the car. Here the driver can see the rear indicator too but in the same line if a driver is parallel to the rear door area then also the ORVM indicator should warn him.

Problem Solved!

-------------------------------------------------

Yes these types are expensive than the regular bulbs as I have just had a broken ORVM indicator and have paid Rs 1356/- for the LED strip which compared to Rs 130 for the normal older ones. Not that I am complaining.

Anurag.

Last edited by a4anurag : 18th March 2014 at 00:16.
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Old 18th March 2014, 17:19   #14
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Default Re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

I tend to agree with the OP.

This new trend is more of a fashion feature that is used to advertise and
many of us here seem to like that.

Having indicators on the fender is always more helpful as it helps in easily determining that the car/vehicle in front is going to change direction.

This observation is purely based on my experience on the road.
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Old 18th March 2014, 18:06   #15
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Default Re: Safety issue with poorly designed ORVM blinkers & Missing fender indicators

Fender mounted indicators are prone to damage/theft as well. My tallboy's(parted away now) indicators bulb fused out twice in its span of 8 years. My habit(friends call it madness) of inspecting the cars electrics every week made me realize that they weren't functioning. Kids playing in the colony deliberately removed the indicator cover once.
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