Abstract Convex mirrors are universally used as rear-view mirrors in automobiles. However, the ocular accommodative responses during the use of these mirrors have not yet been examined. This study investigated the effects of a convex mirror on the ocular accommodative systems. Seven young adults with normal visual functions were ordered to binocularly watch an object in a convex or plane mirror. The accommodative responses were measured with an infrared optometer. The average of the accommodation of all subjects while viewing the object in the convex mirror were significantly nearer than in the plane mirror, although all subjects perceived the position of the object in the convex mirror as being farther away. Moreover, the fluctuations of accommodation were significantly larger for the convex mirror. The convex mirror caused the 'false recognition of distance', which induced the large accommodative fluctuations and blurred vision. Manufactures should consider the ocular accommodative responses as a new indicator for increasing automotive safety.