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Sorry if this has been covered before, but I don't have much luck with the search engine on this forum. I have owned my 2006 Prius for over 4 months and love it. But I have discovered one very serious flaw. The front pillars on each side of the windshield (I think they call them "A-pillars") very significantly reduce forward visibility. I have had two surprises in these last 4 months. In one case, the right front pillar obscured a car coming from my right and making a left into the street I was making a left turn from. He suddenly appeared seemingly out of nowhere. (There were trees in a center median that obscured him prior to his entering my blind spot).

And just last week, I was at a stop sign and had just checked to my right. While I was doing that, a pedestrian crossing from my left entered the blind spot behind the left pillar. I looked left, not seeing him, and I was just about to push the gas pedal when he suddenly appeared from behind the pillar and stepped in front of my car. I've been driving for almost 40 years in all sorts of vehicles and have never had two blind spot incidents as bad as these. I also find the left side mirror has a blind spot (as do many cars) and added a small convex mirror to address that. But the only thing I can think of (besides added vigilence) for addressing those front pillars is to replace the front windshield with one that doesn't have a half-inch black border all around the edge. That would help at least. In the meantime, I recommend that people be aware of this.
 

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I doubt getting rid of the black borders would help.
Every car has unusual blind spots. Now that you know of one of them for the Prius, adjust to it.
Try driving a commercial van. That has practically no visibility at all, especially in the rear.
 

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I gotta agree on those pillars. It's plain scary...I'm actually considering getting rid of my Prius because of them. I've had a couple of close calls lately where the pillar has hidden a car and a pedestrian completely. It's difficult to even move your head around to see by them.

I wonder if you can put a mirror on the pillars to see what's coming (mirror on left pillar to see what's coming from the right).

I wonder if this has something to do with driver height. I'm 6-1 and have always felt the seat is too high.

Ken
 

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Firepa wrote:
You just have to leard the Prius Head Bob...

I had a couple of close calls with this, too. So now that I'm aware of it, it's not so hard to adjust for it. I mentioned it to the field engineers I had the opportunity to speak with a couple weeks ago, but they didn't have much to say about it except they house airbags. My theory is that it's only partly their width; the angle is actually the bigger contributing factor.

Isn't technology fun? Everything seems to be a tradeoff. Great aerodynamics and safety - slight issue with sightlines. Just ordered a new battery for my Dell laptop under a recall since all that power it can store sometimes cause it to burst into flames. A small price to pay . . . :roll:

Susan
 

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it basicaly is true that every car has some kind of visibility quirk. My old monte carlo didn't have the prius blind spot, but you basically had no clue if anybody was in the traditional rear-side freeway "blind spot", and lane changes are often sort of acts of faith. In that car, you learn to compensate for that by watching the rear view mirrors to see if anybody is closing on you to move into that blind spot.

Similarly, in the prius, you can sort of adapt by watching ahead on curves (sometimes, not always will this help you) and so forth.

But i agree, the prius is, overall, maybe the worst visibility car i've ever had. But to date it hasn't caused me any significant scares.
 

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Poor visibility - get peripheral vision checked

Chuck:
If you are experiencing more blind spot problems after 40 years of driving, I suggest you get your peripheral vision checked at your next eye exam.
I too was having trouble with visibility in my Prius, especially at night. At my last eye-exam I was diagnosed with glaucoma and they found I have almost no peripheral vision in my left eye and some loss on the right - although I can easily pass the driver's license eye exam.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, the progression of the disease can be greatly slowed with treatment and I'm a much better driver now than before - because I know what the problem is and compensate by moving my head around at every intersection.
 

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I agree it's not just the width but the angle. When you lean forward your head drops a little...right in line with the slope of the frame. :(

The biggest problem I have with this visibility is at intersections and the really scary one is in parking lots with pedestrians.
 

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lisi said:
Would this also be a problem for shorter people? And if so, more or less of a problem?
I'm 5'2"--granted this is the first vehicle I have ever owned and primarily the only vehicle I have really operated--I don't really see any issues. Sometimes you got to stretch a little or dodge a little to look a little more closer--but don't see the large "A" beams to be an issue..

My sister sees the beams that come down between the front and back to be her "Blindsight" issue but for me its fine.. maybe I'm just used to figuring out a way to check it :p
 

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My guess is to some this isn't an issue at all...all depends on where your seat is, where your head is, etc.

It also wasn't something that really bothered me (sometimes you don't know what you're not seeing) until a couple of close calls.

Obviously, I'm much more careful...but this has really taken a lot of the "fun" out of driving the Prius from me.

Other cars have blind spots as well...My Saab convertible had huge problems with rear visibility (as do most convertibles). But this is far more of a concern because of the location...and I don't think there's any mirror or other aide that I can use to get around it.

Now, if they would just get that transparent aluminum in production!
 

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If any of you have any updates on this issue, please share. I have had so many close calls with pedestrians at intersections crossing from left. I’m surprised these cars are still being sold and there haven’t been more accidents caused by this flaw.
 
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