Last post on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:19 AM
You are in the Toyota Sienna
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Toyota Sienna, Safe Driving, Van
#1 of 4 Visibility Problems in Sienna
Mar 12, 2010 (10:30 am)
I have a 1999 Toyota Sienna and I have twice in the past month backed into something. Once a car (oops) and today a pole. Even when I stop and look I literally can NOT see what I've hit. Not in any of my mirrors or over my shoulder out my windows. I'm not tall, but nothing is helping this problem, not lowering or raising the headrests. Anyone else having this issue? And how to solve it? I'm worried that someday it's going to be a person.
#2 of 4 Re: Visibility Problems in Sienna [msahlberg]
Mar 12, 2010 (10:36 am)
I got a stick-on fish-eye lens for the rear glass. It bends light and helps you see behind the bumper.
It's not quite a backup cam, but it was really cheap. I special ordered it from AutoZone locally.
#3 of 4 Re: Visibility Problems in Sienna [msahlberg]
Mar 12, 2010 (3:13 pm)
Not seeing what you hit once you hit it isn't your problem- it's not unusual to have something obscured when you are right on top of it especially in something as big as a van. Your problem is not seeing it before you hit it. This is where close situational awareness is important: carefully looking around and having your mirrors are correctly adjusted.
Not much I can tell you about looking around. I'm not in your head. All I can say is have a clear mental map of fixed objects around you, scan constantly and quickly recognize what is moving and adjust to it. This should seem basic, but it doesn't always click for younger, inexperienced drivers and for experienced drivers when they are fatigued. Fatigue is the biggest enemy of safe driving and we all seem to push ourselves harder, get less sleep and generally get older.
Most people do a very poor job of setting their mirrors and that leads to lost visibility. A rule of thumb is that if you can see any part of the side of your vehicle, the mirrors are set too close in and should be adjusted outward. To get maximum visibility you should tilt your body towards the side you are adjusting then adjust the mirror until you just see the side of the car in the edge of the mirror.
I've never tried Ateixera's idea about a fisheye on the back. I'm sure they help, but at the cost of a distorted view. We have backup sonar on ours so my wife is more comfortable backing up with small children running around (and I use it to cut a lot closer than I otherwise would). Still we go reeeeealy slow when kids are around. I think a few hundred dollars can get an aftermarket sonar installed.
#4 of 4 Re: Visibility Problems in Sienna [yatesjo]
Mar 15, 2010 (9:19 am)
I also look behind the car and take a mental picture before I hop in and back up. I buckle the kids in first, then peek, hop in, back up.
Helps when leaving parking spots. That and the fish-eye lens.