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Safely exiting from a driveway onto a road can be tricky and is even more dangerous in poor weather and darkness. Convex driveway safety mirrors are enormously beneficial in many situations.
Many properties exist in the UK wherein driveways and gates open directly onto busy roads and the drivers view of oncoming traffic is seriously obscured when they are trying to join the road. No matter how cautious the driver might be, there is still a very high risk to themselves and other road users as they edge their vehicle forwards to gain a better view of oncoming traffic.
Strategically located traffic safety mirrors provide a view of oncoming traffic making it far safer when exiting onto a road or negotiating blind bends.
Regional council policies for the use of mirrors on highways vary, so you should always consult your local authority before mounting a mirror on a roadway. Erecting safety mirrors on your own property or on commercial premises does not require permission from a local authority.
It is generally recommended that if there are issues with traffic visibility from a driveway or entrance other measures should firstly be considered, such as cutting back vegetation or moving boundary fences. But there are many situations in which taking these precautions is not enough to provide adequate safety. Winding rural roads, for example, where the national speed limit applies on narrow country lanes, can be particularly dangerous due to poor visibility. Traffic safety mirrors are widely employed in these areas where they help ensure that road users can see often obscured farm entrances and driveways.
As noted, while you are allowed to erect convex safety mirrors on your own property without permission (or on a neighbours property with their permission), if you are considering a roadside installation you will need to check with your local authority.
When exiting from a driveway or gateway you will generally want to see in both directions, left and right. While a convex, dome mirror is potentially capable of providing this wide-angle field of view it is recommended that you use two convex mirrors, optimally angled to provide excellent visual coverage of the road in both directions.
The maximum viewing distance for convex road safety mirrors refers to the maximum distance between the viewer and the mirror. See our Mirror Viewing Distance Guide for more details. It`s important to note the need for larger size driveway mirrors to cope with greater viewing distances. For example, a 300mm diameter circular convex mirror has a maximum viewing distance of just 3 metres but a 500mm diameter mirror can be safely viewed from up to 7 metres away.
It’s important that you are able to clearly see the images reflected in your driveway safety mirrors from your driving position. It’s also vitally important that your mirrors don’t cause any interference to other road users by reflecting light into their eyes. By carefully considering the height and location of your mirror mounting pole you should be able to locate your safety mirrors optimally for all round safety without causing any issues for other road users.
Historically, glass has been a favoured mirror material. It’s easily cleaned and reflects crisp, clear images. But glass is brittle and fragile making it entirely unsuitable for roadside applications. These days, most security and safety mirrors are made from acrylic, polycarbonate or stainless steel.
Acrylic is typically used for low cost, budget mirrors. It is very lightweight and can provide images which are as crisp and clear as those reflected from glass. But acrylic will shatter on impact making it entirely unsuitable for applications in public spaces.
Polycarbonate mirrors are much tougher and virtually unbreakable. The material is around 200 times stronger than glass and will withstand heavy impacts which makes polycarbonate mirrors far more suitable for road safety applications. A downside of polycarbonate is that it is more easily scratched than glass but mirrors with scratch resistant coatings are available.
Stainless steel is very robust but more expensive. Mirrors made from stainless steel require special finishing processes in order to achieve the necessary, highly reflective surface. The additional manufacturing processes are why stainless steel mirrors are more expensive. Stainless steel mirrors tend to be used in situations where vandalism is a risk.
Something to consider when installing roadside safety mirrors is routine maintenance and cleaning. Your convex safety mirrors will potentially provide many years of reliable service if installed correctly and maintained. Being mounted close to traffic means that inevitably dirt and grime will build up. You should routinely clean your mirrors to ensure that the reflected images are always as clear as possible. The busier the road and the worse the weather then the more often you will need to clean your mirrors. While doing so, always check for damage, make certain that the supporting pole is upright, mountings are secure and trim back any vegetation that may obscure your view.
Considerately installed driveway and roadside safety mirrors help many people avoid accidents by improving visibility at driveway entrances, workplace gateways and many other locations.
Here at Insight Security we are always ready to help with your security issues. Call us for free help and advice.
This message was added on Thursday 19th September 2019
Need Help or Advice?
Call the Insight team
01273 475 500