Modern car designs obstructing visibility: study

January 7th, 2009 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Munich, Jan 7 (DPA) Modern aerodynamic car designs with wide window frames are obstructing visibility, especially to the rear and when changing lanes, according to a test conducted by Germany’s ADAC automobile association.Many car makers have improved the passenger safety cell but this has come at the cost of sacrificing all round vision with wide A, B, and C pillars - that form the window frames, the ADAC testers said.

Surprisingly, the BMW 2002, built in the early 1970s, offers a virtually panoramic view that few modern cars such as the modern BMW 1-Series can compete with and scored the poorest visibility rating when changing lanes.

It was, however, still possible to combine modern aerodynamics and safety aspects such as those of the Renault Grand Espace and Citroen’s C4 Picasso, which received top marks, according to the ADAC.

Poorest marks were given to the Mitsubishi Colt CZ3 and Hyundai Santa Fe.

The ADAC measured visibility using a digital camera with a 360 degree movement at the height of a driver measuring 1.75 metres.

Computer picture software was then used to calculate the visibility.

The ADAC called on car makers to find an improved compromise between a good safety cell, comfortable interior and all round vision. Headrests could also be designed so that they do not obstruct the driver’s vision.

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