4 Best Places to Put Your Smartphone While Driving
With the Anti-Distracted Driving Act set to take effect tomorrow, many drivers are rightfully worried about how they can possibly use their phone while their car is in motion or stopped at a light without breaking the law. Though no one is contesting the inherent danger of the activity, it’s really hard not to use your phone while driving. Obviously, texting, answering calls, and browsing websites are prohibited. But what about using navigation apps?
The good news is that you can still use your phone while driving—you just have to be a little smarter about it. But how, you may ask? There are plenty of workarounds to this problem, but it all boils down to choosing a mounting system that works. Carmudi rounds up your four best options.
For most people, the dashboard is the most sensible location for smartphone mount. By placing your device on the dashboard, you ensure it’s within easy reach without affecting your windshield view. Dashboard mounts are great if your vehicle has a steep-angled windshield, such as the Ford Focus and Honda Civic.
There are permanent mount options that let you set your phone lower on the dashboard. Though ideal, they can require some disassembly of the dashboard to install. You may want to get to know your dashboard a bit better and have some handyman skills ready if you’re seriously considering this option.
Mounting your handset onto the windshield requires the use of adhesive or suction cup to secure the device in place. The windshield is an equally great mounting option as the dashboard because it places the phone at eye level, meaning you won’t have to take your eyes off the road to check the map in your navigation app. Windshield mounts are also ridiculously cheap and easy to install—you can stick and remove them from the glass in an instant.
A downside to mounting your smartphone on the windshield is that it can block a bit of your windshield view. Also, as mentioned, it puts your phone farther away, especially if you have a steeply-raked ‘shield. You might also get in trouble with local enforcement, as Philippine law prohibits any item on the windshield that can obstruct view. Be sure to place your mount near your rearview mirror and not in your line of sight to avoid receiving a citation.
Depending on your dashboard setup, the aircon vent can be the best location for your smartphone mount. They offer the best of both worlds, combining the unobstructed view of the dashboard with the high position and ease of installation of a windshield mount. You also have the added advantage of cold air blasting onto your device, which can prevent it from overheating.
If you have traditional rectangular vents, then you’re in luck, as they offer great stability for your device. Circular vents are too deep and wobbly to use.
Away from view
What about going mount-less? After all, modern navigation apps have a spoken voice feature that tells you when to turn, how far you are from your turning point, etc. With a little practice, you may no longer need to look at a tiny map at all.
Granted, the success of your no-mount efforts will depend on many things, from your preferred navigation app’s features to your accent. And you have to muster a lot of discipline on your part to not give in to the temptation of checking your phone. Ultimately though, going this routed is a free option that’s worth trying out. You can even impress your passengers with a newfound skill.