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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Here's why driver visibility matters - plus 10 cars that get it right

Changing car shapes means a simple look over your shoulder isn’t enough anymore.

Image: Shutterstock

ALMOST ALL NEW cars come with reversing cameras as standard or an an optional add-on these days.

While a 360 camera really does help with visibility, the ability to see all around you with your own eyes remains an important part of a safe driving experience.

Checking blind spots over your shoulder isn’t as effective as it once was, as cars tend to have roof pillars made thicker, windscreens positioned further forward and rooflines more rakish than before.

For safe driving, you need to be able to make sound judgments about your road positioning, and be able to see what’s in front of, to the sides and behind you quickly and easily.

Yes, proper positioning of car mirrors will help, but the simple solution here is to choose a car with great visibility to begin with.

Here are ten that fit the bill…

1. Ford C-Max

Source: James Lipman

The Ford C-Max offers drivers great all round visibility thanks to its big, tall windows, thin pillars and relatively high seating position.

2 & 3. Land Rover Range Rover and Range Rover Sport

Large windows are a hallmark of the Land Rover Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport. These greenhouse-like vehicles provide drivers with plenty of visibility all around.

4. Nissan Pulsar

Source: Melanie May

The Nissan Pulsar has tall windows and slim pillars, meaning drivers can easily get a feel for what’s going on around them.

5. Opel Crossland X

Source: Shane O'Donoghue

This car has deep side windows, great forwards visibility and a nice high driving position. The thick rear pillars do restrict rear views somewhat, but overall you’re in safe hands.

6. SEAT Mii

Source: SEAT Media

The SEAT Mii is a small car with big windows and small pillars, plus a boxy shape that allows you to have eyes on more of the road around you, more easily.

7. Skoda Fabia

Source: Newspress

Again, the tall, upright shape of the Fabia’s windows provides excellent visibility all round.

8 & 9. Subaru Forester and Outback

Source: Dave Humphreys

Both the Subaru Forester and Outback have thin pillars, large windows and, again, that visibility-friendly boxy shape.

10. Volkswagen Tiguan

Source: Dave Humphreys

The Volkswagen Tiguan does have large D-pillars, but its large rear window and tall side windows make up for this. With plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment and a high driving position, drivers should have no problem seeing all around.

More: 6 Irish drives that end with great sunset views

More: Here’s what a perfect driving position looks like – and how to fix yours

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About the author:

Melanie May  /

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