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There are areas of the road, behind the car and to the sides, which are crucial to be able to see, in order to drive safely, which are out of the driver's peripheral vision. The electric wing mirror is an exterior mirror which enables the driver to see these 'blind spots' enabling clear vision of any traffic nearby and any potential hazards, and as such is an important visual aid and safety feature.

The electric wing mirror is usually mounted in the door pillar on the side of the door.

The electric wing mirror can be adjusted electronically to move vertically, horizontally and diagonally from inside the car by a control switch. The electric wing mirror can be adjusted to suit the height, line of sight and seat position of  the driver. An option on some electric windows is a memory feature which remembers the individual wing mirror settings for each driver of the car and can be programmed to recall them. Some electric wing mirrors also heat the glass on the mirror to aid visibility, stopping the mirror from icing in freezing conditions or clouding up in heavy rain. There is also an automatic dimming feature available on some electric models which reduces the glare in the wing mirror from cars traveling  behind. The electric wing mirror can be folded in close to the car to avoid damage when parked.

The electric wing mirror can be subject to problems, such as failure in the motor or the wing mirror control switch. Problems can also occur if water seeps into the electric wing mirror. Broken, smashed and chipped mirrors will, of course, need replacing and naturally over a period of general use the electric wing mirror will need replacing with one that is compatible with the make and model of your car.