Steer Safe: The “Safe” Way to Practice Distracted Driving?
August 9th, 2011
Many of us are guilty of using our mobile devices while driving. Admit it, you’ve done it at least once, even just to look at a text message or e-mail. Governments all over the world are of course against this bad habit. But since it’s an offense that is a bit hard to spot people get away with it anyway. So what’s a responsible citizen to do? Encourage it. Wait what?
The Steer Safe is a cradle that lets you mount a phone or other similarly-sized object on a steering wheel. Sameer Desai, one of the inventors of the Steer Safe, claims that the cradle works with all phones and all steering wheels. It even supports landscape view, so you can watch a movie or play Angry Birds while driving! Yeah! No!
Nah, Desai and company are aware of the US Department of Transportation’s guidelines, and insist that the Steer Safe is legal. Moreover, they repeatedly mention both on their website and on their Kickstarter page that the “use of your phone should be limited to when vehicle is parked or stationary.” Which is why their demo video shows someone using a phone on the Steer Safe while driving.
Look, I can sympathize with people who use their phones while driving. I have friends and relatives who are guilty of that. I’m a gadget freak myself, so I know how tempting or useful it can be. And to be fair, looking up a map on a phone is pretty much the same as looking it up on your car’s navigation device. But I’m still more convinced that a product like this will only encourage people to be distracted with their gadgets while driving. If you’re only supposed to use them while you’re parked or stationary, why would you need to mount your gadgets on your steering wheel in the first place?
But that’s just me. If you’d like to see the Steer Safe become a real product, you can support its development by pledging on its Kickstarter page. You have to pledge at least $25 (USD) to be one of the first to receive the actual product.