The 10 Best Phone Car Mounts
Keep It Mounted; Keep It Safe
It's becoming increasingly difficult to imagine a world that doesn't rely on cellular communications and instant internet access from anywhere, but it's more than likely that the age in which we're living now, the age of interconnection, has only just begun.
At this point in the revolution, our devices are separate from us, with the occasional exception of a wearable piece of tech like a smartwatch. That means that, in order to interact with the interface, we have to manipulate it with our fingers and our voices, as well as our eyes.
Take any task that requires the attention of the eye, the ministrations of the hand, and a significant amount of your momentary brain space and put the task to someone who also happens to be driving a car down the highway at 70 mph, and you can imagine the disasters that might unfold. I don't care if it's reading a book, eating a sandwich, or texting, distracted driving is undoubtedly dangerous.
It just so happens that the vast majority of distracted driving in the early days of smart phones is the result of using those very devices. Each year in the US, about 420,000 people are injured in car crashes for which a distracted driver is to blame.
The answer would seem to be pretty simple: put away the phone. But distractions come from other sources, as well, such as distress over an impending feeling that you've lost your way, worry over a friend or loved one who may be sick or in trouble, and a dozen other completely legitimate and time-sensitive issues that using a smart phone in your car can fix, actually making you safer.
In order to reduce that level of distraction, however, you need to have your phone mounted in a position in your car that makes it easy to read and access without a lot of fumbling around. The car mounts for cell phones on our list do just that, and they do so in a manner that secures your phone without risking any damage to your vehicle.
All of the car phone mounts on our list grab onto your phone with one end and onto some part of your car with the other. In some cases, they attach to your windshield by the force of a suction cup. In others, they use the weight of the phone to create leverage against a slot that fits around one of your car's vents. Still others utilize magnets, stick materials, or even tabs that fit into your CD slot to create a mount that lives front and center.
Your Mounting Options
Selecting one from among the numerous phone car mounts on our list will come down to a number of variables that hinge partly on the design of your car and partly on where in your car you want you phone to mount. For example, if you're left handed, mounting your phone anywhere near the center console would be a bigger hassle than anything else, as it would necessitate that you use your non-dominant hand to manipulate it. A mount designed to insert into your CD drive wouldn't work for you.
Alternatively, depending on the angle of your windshield, you might find that suction cups are a poor option. If your windshield's angle is too steep, some suction cup-based mounts won't have enough flexibility to allow your phone to face forward at an amenable viewing angle.
If you're a lefty with a steep windshield, well, you're running out of options, but you can still utilize a mount that attaches to the vents in your car, provided that they have enough tension in them to hold the mount in place. If you have a heavier phone and weaker hinges on your vents, you might end up with a phone on the floor every time you go over a bump.
Ask yourself where in your car you'd be most comfortable mounting your phone, and then actually get in the car and look at the options available to you. Is mounting in in the vents too far down for you to have to migrate your eyes while driving? Does a windshield mount obstruct your lines of sight?
Once you've got a handle on where and how you want to mount your phone in your car, your decision will come down to the clip. Some clips are magnetic, others have spring-loaded, extending arms that grip your phone along its sides. The magnets make for a convenient installation and removal when you're on the go, but they aren't as secure as the spring-loaded clips.
Long before texting presented a threat to the very fiber of our roadways, the pioneers of telecommunications in the 20th century endeavored to place a phone inside of your car. The Bell System was the first to achieve the feat way back in 1946, though to be honest it was more of a radio system built with all the trappings of the telephone. It was channel based like a radio, and it had limited bands for communication with other car phones within range.
It took another 40 years for cellular technology to begin its transition toward the tower-based systems we still use today, and even then car phones were bulky, uncomfortable things that offered little more than the ability for rich jerks to communicate with other rich jerks about how much money they made that day.
In more recent years, as numbers of violent automobile deaths that could easily have been prevented have kept rising, awareness campaigns and compelling films like Werner Herzog's anti-texting and driving PSA From One Second to the Next have opened our eyes to a culture that needs to change. That change begins, in part, with a good mount.