Spillard press the case for convex mirrors
Since 1998 Spillard Safety Systems of Gailey in Staffordshire have been the sole European distributor for the Mirror Lite range of convex mirrors.
Michigan-based Mirror Lite now dominate their home market in the US, having originally developed convex mirrors for fitment to school buses to ensure drivers had maximum rearward visibility, before working in close co-operation with the US military to help improve safety on a number of its vehicles.
In Europe, some doubts have been expressed as to the performance of the convex mirror because of concerns over the size of the reflected image. However, Mirror Lite has carried out extensive testing of its products at all stages of development and concluded that the advantages offered over conventional mirrors in bringing blind spots into view far outweigh any apparent reduction in hazard size.
In order to meet the stringent safety requirements demanded by US local authorities and the military, Mirror Lite products are manufactured to exacting standards using injection-moulded housings, oval elliptical acrylic lenses, stainless steel fixings and removable bezels for easy lens replacement.
Although the quality built into the Mirror Lite range has resulted in a premium price, the company say they have experienced no trouble in steadily growing their market share. As one US truck company executive pointed out: ‘The cost to outfit our fleet with these innovative mirrors is minimal when compared with the cost of one avoidable accident.’
According to Pete Spillard, it would be easy to source a cheap copy of Mirror Lite, but Spillard Safety Systems take the long-term view that it is far better to sell a high-quality product incorporating nearly 50 years’ investment in R&D.