In the absence of scientific data demonstrating the benefits of requiring that convex mirrors be placed on both the right and left fenders of trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) of more than 10,000 lb., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it is withdrawing its Request for Comments (RFC) on this issue. The request was originally issued on January 22, 2003.
However, the agency is taking steps to determine whether such a requirement would, in fact, improve truck safety. As part of the RFC withdrawal that was published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2005, NHTSA announced that it has commissioned the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to study the issue.
Specifically, VTTI will assess “side and rearward visibility of heavy trucks,” document “current mirror designs and aiming,” develop a way to “evaluate mirror fields of view,” and recommend “enhanced mirror design and aiming.” Results will be posted on the agency's web site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
Current rear-view mirror regulations (FMVSS 111) do not require the use of convex mirrors on heavy trucks.