The air vent has never meant so much to the average car owner. For years, the air vent was just that : a mechanical device that directed cold and hot air towards the driver and passengers. The air vent is usually not a location in the car where a car owner looks for innovation or technology. Until the last few years , that is.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says “fatal crash risk is 66 percent higher when manipulating a phone” and that it “was a contributing factor in more than 800 crash deaths on U.S. roads during 2017.” Safe driving has to be the first concern when you decide to mount a cell phone on your already busy dashboard.
The explosion of the ubiquitous cell phone, its map apps, its compass, and especially the life changing traffic apps like Waze or Google Maps has suddenly made the vent a very important area of the dashboard. Just as important, holding a cell phone in your hand while driving is illegal in sixteen states and Puerto Rico. Product designers have ingeniously developed mechanical and magnetic devices that can hold your cell phone in the perfect position for use while driving. The new vent mount concept is a really important innovation because there are usually several vents to choose from and the vent is usually in a safe and favorable ergonomic position for the driver.
What makes a great vent mount for your phone?
- Easy installation to the vent. A very secure attachment to the vent louver is critical because new larger phones are quite heavy and can break off the vent louvers if not well secured by the attachment mechanism
- Universal Size – a solid design that easily adjusts to the shape/size of the cell phone
- Rotation – make sure the design can rotate 360 and provide portrait or landscape position to the driver. Look for a solid, ball joint design that allows the rotation in all directions. You don’t want to block dashboard instruments or air flowing from the vent, so you’ll need to rotate the phone until it’s in a safe position, useable with “eyes-up” .
- Strong Magnets: Not all magnets are the same, shop for a magnetic mount with very strong (at least 6 ) magnets that will hold the phone to the mount when on rough roads /snow, but is also easily released when exiting the car .
- Twist Lock vent base: This is a design style that clamps the mount to the vent’s slats and allows you to tighten-down the rubber tips without crushing or breaking the vent louver. Read reviews before buying it.
- No adhesives: many cell phone mounts require an adhesive to attach to the windshield or the dashboard , and most leave a mark or loosen in the heat . Go for the mechanical vent mount style and avoid adhesives.
Take your time and shop for the vent mounted cell phone mount that fits your vehicle and your sitting position. Safety is first and foremost, and you can find the right product that does not compromise safety with functionality.