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Accident waiting to happen.
December 26, 2003 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Laptop Steering Wheel Mount - Mount your laptop on your car's steering wheel? - Accident waiting to happen... Sure you are supposed to use it while parked but we all see idiots in traffic doing everything from applying make-up to reading the newspaper. Doesn't anybody just drive their car anymore?
posted by radio_mookie (21 comments total)

 
war drivers are 'bout it 'bout it.
posted by machaus at 8:40 AM on December 26, 2003


I love how their website says that the product was "featured" in a Dave Barry column. From that column:
This means that, finally, the busy executive can make productive use of driving time formerly wasted by using the steering wheel to actually steer. This will definitely put him or her on the ''fast track'' to success! Or the hospital.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 9:04 AM on December 26, 2003


Hrm, I might be the only one who can see the utility of this sort of thing. There are quite a few jobs where you have to drive around and do data entry at each location you stop at (police, home-visit nursing and sales/delivery comes to mind.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:05 AM on December 26, 2003


True, this gadget is great for those sort of jobs but only if you use your laptop while parked. Guaranteed that somebody out there, on our overcrowded roadways, will try to use it while sitting in stop-and-go traffic and probably cause an accident.
posted by radio_mookie at 9:20 AM on December 26, 2003


The mount seems to feature the Newton 2000/2100 product.

The 2x00 series had an unofficial patch that allowed the reading outloud of newton books. I took a newton, wired up a audio jack and used that connection and a audio tape interface to have the newton read books to me while I drove.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:20 AM on December 26, 2003


I think the picture in the Barry article says it all.


posted by psmealey at 9:56 AM on December 26, 2003


I wonder about the surgical implications of having to extract mangled laptop parts which become embedded in car crash victims.
posted by troutfishing at 10:00 AM on December 26, 2003


Do drivers cease to have laps when they enter their vehicles these days? Quite clearly the idea is not to use it when parked, no matter what they say...
posted by nthdegx at 10:09 AM on December 26, 2003


Do drivers cease to have laps when they enter their vehicles these days? Quite clearly the idea is not to use it when parked, no matter what they say...

I can't fit anything on my lap in the driver's seat. But here is another possibility. The design of this thing not only makes driving very difficult, but it appears to make it impossible to drive the car and operate the laptop. (Which is good design IMO.)

But by all means, lets have a few dozen "what were they thinking, this is an accident waiting to happen" and ignore the fact that some professions have been dealing with dashboard-mounted computer systems for a while now without major problems.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:42 AM on December 26, 2003


I foresee costly litigation in this company's future.
posted by clevershark at 10:50 AM on December 26, 2003


I was driving with a cellphone in my car yesterday, in a 50 mph zone. The phone rang, and I answered it. When I finished the call, I looked down at the speedometer. I was going 80.
posted by troutfishing at 10:50 AM on December 26, 2003


Is this product something I would need a car to understand?
much less a laptop
</ludite>
posted by Fezboy! at 10:57 AM on December 26, 2003


KirkJobSluder - maybe they should include some sort of protruding club-like device as part of the mounting bracket thus making it impossible to steer the car while the device is attached.

Fezboy - I live in NY City and have not owned a car for 7 years (what a pleasure). However, I do see an increasing number of bad drivers out there on the city streets. The number of gadgets to distract them from actually driving the car has also increased. Cell phones, DVD players, Laptops, etc.
posted by radio_mookie at 11:19 AM on December 26, 2003


radio_mookie: I live in [small Midwest college town] and have been car-free for several years too (rah!). I wasn't digging on your post so much as deploying a time-honored MeFi snark/meme to emphasize my car-free-ness (and relative poverty). I whole-heartedly agree with your assessment of cars, drivers, and the distracting gadgets available to them.
posted by Fezboy! at 12:58 PM on December 26, 2003


from bash.org:

TXTerron: wanna know whats geeky?
Jennifer: hmm?
TXTerron: I'm driving down the road
Jennifer: I drove down the road today too...
Jennifer: Wait, You mean you're on irc in your truck?
TXTerron: yeah, using my wireless card
Jennifer: ^___^
Jennifer: Jason, is that safe?
TXTerron: na, i just type with one hand while I'm driving and halfway watch the road, its cool, dont worry
Jennifer: You're good with typing with one hand?
TXTerron: shaddup :D
TXTerron: FUCK
TXTerron: i just rear ended a lady
TXTerron: brb :(

posted by ArsncHeart at 1:27 PM on December 26, 2003


This all will start to get REALLY scary when automakers start to offer optional sex-attachments.

Well, maybe not - by then, the cars will probably drive themselves so - hey - it'll all be cool.
posted by troutfishing at 1:49 PM on December 26, 2003


I don't know how popular the in-car satellite navigation systems are back home, still kind of a gimmick I suspect, but here in Japan they are very popular because few streets have names and it's tricky to navigate. Drivers checking out the map aren't so bad, but the unit doubles as a TV, and many times I have seen motorists watching TV while driving, and have seen them ignore signals and almost hit pedestrians. Very scary.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:07 PM on December 26, 2003


In my twice-daily, forty-five-minute commute, I've seen some weird stuff. The weirdest:
  1. Guy playing the guitar (thankfully in heavy traffic)
  2. Lady doing a crossword puzzle (unfortunately at about 60 mph)
  3. Guy shaving and trimming nose hair with scissors (granted, he wasn't walking with the scissors)
posted by bbrown at 7:18 PM on December 26, 2003


The design of this thing not only makes driving very difficult, but it appears to make it impossible to drive the car and operate the laptop.

How do you figure? It specifically warns people NOT to drive while using it as that would result in dangerous situations, but that implies that it's perfectly possible for someone to ignore their advice and do so anyway. Which stupid humans are all too likely to do... Yeah, we just need those self-driving cars to get invented. We have satellite navigation systems, and basic programs like mapquest have all the data re: directions from A to B figured out, so how hard would it be to align all that information with a speed and steering device in the car that could then drive you where you needed to go? The only real issue would be that all cars (and traffic lights etc) would need to be fitted with sensors that could detect one another to avoid collisions.
posted by mdn at 7:56 PM on December 26, 2003


5...4...3...2...1...Launch Airbag. Companies that make stuff this dumb deserve to get sued.
posted by mygoditsbob at 5:28 AM on December 27, 2003


mygoditsbob - and so they shall. Nothing like having a five pound or so chunk of LCD, silicon, plastic, and various rare metals accelerated at about 40 mph into one's forehead or chest.
posted by troutfishing at 10:21 AM on December 27, 2003


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