When you’re on the road, your phone can be the perfect companion—as long as you’ve got a phone mount, set up right. Here we’ll explain everything you need to know about the hardware and the apps you can install to get a sweet and safe in-car system up and running, powered by your phone.
You’ve got a ton of flexibility here too, so if you don’t agree with any of our recommendations then by all means put your own twist on the phone mount.
Distracted drivers cost lives
The facts are pretty clear. According to National Highway Traffic Administration, in 2015 3,477 people were killed in accidents involving distracted drivers. A big chunk of those distractions—making calls, sending texts, checking mapping apps—are related to smartphones. That’s why lawmakers here and elsewhere across the planet have been rushing to put restrictions on the in-car use of phones and advocate phone mounts.
With that in mind, any in-car setup you put together has to abide by the laws of your state—they vary, but they’re mostly common sense. In the US, no state bans all cellphone use for all drivers. However, 14 states plus DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands have banned handheld cellphone use while driving, 38 states have banned all cellphone use by novice drivers, and 47 states plus DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands have banned text messaging for all drivers.
Mounting your phone
A cell phone mount is absolutely crucial in terms of safety and convenience. Besides picking the right mount for your needs, you need to pick the perfect position for your handset so it’s easy to see at a glance but won’t distract you from what’s ahead or obscure your view of the road.
With that in mind it’s a good idea to test out a variety of positions for your phone before actually sticking your mount in place, because most are designed to be difficult to remove (and thus secure in transit). Borrow a friend to hold the mount and take a trundle around a car park to try out a few different configurations—it’s not really something you want to be doing out on the road, but it helps to at least be moving.
You’ve essentially got three main mounting positions—windshield, air vents, or CD player—and two mounting types, either magnetic mounts or cradle. It’s up to you and your car’s internal layout as to which you prefer, but as always check online reviews and user feedback before parting with any cash. This is the whole foundation of your in-car setup and you need to get it right, and safe—taking your eyes off the road even for a split-second is enough to get into a shunt or something worse.
Our friends at Lifehacker recommend the Clutchit – Dual Magnetic Phone Mount ($39.95), the world’s first magnetic phone mount that moves with you. It can be used anywhere with the help of the Clutchit magnetic mount plates if the surface is not metal already. It will no longer block your vents, require 2 hands to operate or obstruct your view on the windshield . It is secure and fit a variety of phones.
Whether you’re buying new or upgrading your current car, you’ve got all sorts of options when it comes to making best use of your magnetic phone mount on the move, and making sure it’s not a threat to yourself and others.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!