My car is wider than I think!


#1

I love my 04 Honda Civic Hybrid, but I cannot get used to the width! Yesterday I managed to take out the passenger side mirror, a window, and both door panels–all because I misestimated the room I had on the right. I’ve been driving the car for 10 years now, and this is the 4th time I’ve done something like this. Then there are all those times I haven’t been able to parallel park–and I can parallel park almost anything!

How in the world do I deal with this? And no, a different car is not an option.


#2

Perhaps it is time for a thorough eye exam.

No, I am not trying to make a joke.
There could be a serious issue with your vision–especially as pertains to your peripheral vision–and the sooner you find out whether this might be a problem, the better-off you will be.


#3

Get two of the little “bubble” mirrors and stick them in a corner of the side mirrors.
Adjust the side mirrors until the side of the car is just out of sight (in the main mirror) when your head is in the normal driving position.
This will allow you to fully see around the sides of the car.
re. hitting the side mirrors you need to slow down, look all around and concentrate.


#4

Mirror and door scrape? How did u do this? Backing out of garage? It’s impossible to damage door by parallel parking. You would hit curb with tire before you do any damage to door.


#5

We need to know exactly what you’re doing when you hit things.


#6

I’m driving; I just get too close to things on the right side. I drive as if the car were 3-6" narrower than it is


#7

In this instance, I managed to hit the back corner of a semi trailer, trying to get by it on the left.

I just had my vision checked; there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s more a matter of not having the actual width of this car engrained in my mind. I am not having this problem with anything else at all. I need some visual reminder or something to remind me of the width of the car.


#8

Have you been to the optometrist lately? My mother used to consistently rip off her right side mirror because her vision in her right eye was so poor.


#9

I would suggest attaching these snowplow blade guides, one to the front right corner of your bumper, and one at the rear:

They will stick up as visual reminders of where the far corners of your car are. Yes, they may look funny, but funny looks are better than multiple crashes.


#10

Cue off the center line. Any road of significance is designed around trucks…8’ wide, not including mirrors. Temporarily adjust driver’s side mirror in and down enough that you can see where your rear tire is relative to the double yellow: shouldn’t be more than 12" or so.


I drove RHD vehicles for the USPS, and using my mirrors was exactly how I got accustomed to the very different positioning on the road.


#11

+1 to mustangman’s recommendation, except that I’d recommend an ophthalmologist rather than an optometrist. An ophthalmologist is an actual eye surgeon who is a level well above an optometrist on the ladder of eye doctors. An optometrist is primarily a refractionist trained in detecting and treating topological eye diseases, and should he/she discover a serious eye problem he/she will refer you to an ophthalmologist.

A point: poor vision in one eye will cause a loss of depth perception.

Let us know how you make out. We do care.


#12

I agree, time to have the eyes checked. My dad used to do this before he got new glasses.

What I do though, because I park on the right side of the garage, is watch the right side mirror and how close that is to the door frame. I can see precisely where the mirror is in relation to other objects and that tells me where the side of the car is. A Civic too wide though?


#13

Other than the sensible idea of having a vision exam, I don’t know what to tell you. You’re already driving a car that’s narrower than most cars on the road, so you must really be far to the right for some reason that I can’t picture.

You could mount some kind of fiberglass poles to the front right and rear right corners. That would be ugly, of course, but maybe it would help.


#14

This is a double post and the OP says they can park anything but this vehicle. I suspect a hoax If true I can not imagine how much insurance costs this person.


#15

Time for a driving lesson.

I’ve taught 5 or 6 kids to drive, and it revolves around knowing where your car is. I take a couple gallon jugs of water and a few tin cans to an empty parking lot, pour out a puddle of water and put a can in the middle of it. I then tell the driver to drive around the parking lot and drive OVER the can with the right front tire. Use the water to show your tire tracks, and see exactly how much you miss by. Keep it up until you’re successful. After a few successful attempts drive around and PARK on the can, with the front tire, then the rear tire.

Then, for the rest of your life, every time you drive through a puddle of water, look in the mirror and see if your tire tracks are exactly where you think they are.


#16

Like VolvoV70, I am starting to suspect a hoax.

However, if the OP is being honest (in both of the threads that he/she created) regarding this problem, there is something seriously wrong–with either the OP’s vision or with the OP’s perceptual abilities

A new driver can be expected to misjudge his/her clearances to some extent, but this person states that he/she has been driving this particular car for 10 years. If somebody is having difficulty judging clearances/distances after 10 years with the same vehicle, there is a serious problem with the driver, and medical intervention of some kind is called for.

I would suggest that the OP begin with an appointment with the OP’s general practitioner, and that MD may decide to do referrals to a neurologist, an ophthalmologist, a geriatrician, or other type of specialist regarding the OP’s problems with vision, or perception, or…


#17

Vision changes gggrrraaadddduuuuaaallllyyy with age, as does one’s spacial perception.
Since this is a car you are familiar with, I’d have those two things checked by doctors.

If this were a car new to you I’d say , practice .
Newer cars with thicker doors for crash protection, can fool your subconsious because the interior seems narrower.

But, then again, practice may just be the answer to age related changes.

In a parking lot set up barriers, not just cones but taller, like big furniture boxes, that are the width you want to practice with. And do just that for a while. Not just back and forth, but go around and back again. Try both right side only and in between the barriers,. STOP and get out to look how close …or too close you are…rinse and repeat.

My Wife lost the vision in her right eye.
Practice was the answer, both in our logic and doctor’s orders, and in the book ‘‘A Singular View’’, about adjusting to life with monocular vision.
She still has not driven her 79 Chevy pickup since her vision loss. It does not have swing-lock mirrors and she could do some damage.


#18

Never had any depth perception due to one eye blind, You can be safe, just allow for an extra 2 feet on the right hand side. Sure you might have to pull over and let somebody through a tight spot, deal with it and move on. Remembering skinny Chicago streets crossing my fingers to make it through, as there was no alternative.


#19

I was losing my eyesight due to cataracts, and I can tell you that it sneaks up on you. After I had my first surgery it was like someone had opened a frosted and yellowed window. The light streamed in and suddenly I could see things I never realized I couldn’t see anymore.

Hopefully the OP will post back and let us know her decision.


#20

To be honest, OP should stop driving. If she can’t manage to avoid hitting stuff because a Civic is “too wide,” she’s going to kill someone. Sure, she’s only hit trucks and other property so far, but when will she misjudge the distance between her car and the guy in the crosswalk?

Driving is a skill, and a privilege. If you aren’t good at it, then you should get good at it or stop doing it. Yes, that sounds harsh, but I don’t think there’s much room for being nice when someone is driving a 2500 pound machine unsafely, knows it, and continues to do it anyway.