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GPS mounting locations and safety.......

patruns 10 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Discussions
I'm seeing a lot of posts regarding vent mounts or other mounts that are not on the windshield. I know the California guys don't have a choice as they cannot mount anything to the windshield. Maybe other states as well. My question is, does anyone else think this is a little more dangerous than mounting on the windshield as it forces you to take your eyes off the road? Depending on traffic, I'm not even a fan of looking down to change the radio station let alone look at a screen with a map on it. With my unit mounted in the center of the windshield I can still see everything around it on the road.

Any thoughts or personal preferences?

Comments

  • Tim 1480 Points
    It is an interesting question and one that gets debated from time to time. Certainly the further the screen is away from where you primarily look through the windshield, the further it will take to get your eyes to the GPS screen and back.

    But I think you get used to where you put your GPS and become fast at taking quick glances as necessary.

    I've also seen many, many people mounting their GPS quite far (high) off the dash which looks a little scary to me since it is blocking some of the road.

    I also seen to have less glare problems with devices that are mounted lower on vents or "in-dash" systems.

    So there are a few things to consider such as how far away from your primary view the GPS is, how much glare it is susceptible to, the possibility of getting tangled in the cord, and how much of the road the GPS blocks from view.
  • patruns 10 Points
    Thanks for the thoughts Tim. I was just remembering what it was like when I used the NeverLost Hertz system a number of years back. I much prefer my unit closer to eye level.

    Pat
  • Mark29 0 Points
    edited January 2008
    I put mine on a vent mount mainly primarily because I didn't want it on the windshield, i.e blocking any portion of the view. To me, it's no more distracting than glancing down at the radio. With voice commands, there's not much reason to stare at it anyway. I guess the way I feel is if you can't multitask you shouldn't be driving, period.
    I don't think it's possible to be operate a vehicle w/o multitasking. Not reading a map or sending text messages of course, but changing a radio station, talking with a passenger, kids in the backseat, etc.

    Mark
  • infama 0 Points
    I'm seeing a lot of posts regarding vent mounts or other mounts that are not on the windshield. I know the California guys don't have a choice as they cannot mount anything to the windshield. Maybe other states as well. My question is, does anyone else think this is a little more dangerous than mounting on the windshield as it forces you to take your eyes off the road? Depending on traffic, I'm not even a fan of looking down to change the radio station let alone look at a screen with a map on it. With my unit mounted in the center of the windshield I can still see everything around it on the road.

    Any thoughts or personal preferences?
    The vent mount is quite high, much higher than the radio and closer than the windshield. Even on the winshield, your eyes would be focussed on the GPS and not on the road at the same time.

    Only HUDs allow you to somewhat focus on both things at the same time.
  • I put mine on the dash just above and right of the instrument cluster on my Honda Accord Coupe. The windshield is so sloped that it can be hard to reach using the suction mount, so I use the beanbag. I'm tall enough that it doesn't block any of the road view, but I can check the GPS screen easier than I can glance at the speedometer. And I can easily reach it to tap the button for next turn without taking my eyes off the road.
  • I really like my vent mount for my TomTom One LE that I got from Mount Guys. Not only does it not obstruct the view of the road in any way but it is closer to my eyes and thus easier to read if I want to read the name of the next street to turn onto since I don't have TTS. In other words, if I need to view the screen, I can do so quicker and refocus on the road than I can if I have a windshield or dash mount.
  • sgr 0 Points
    I really like my vent mount for my TomTom One LE that I got from Mount Guys. Not only does it not obstruct the view of the road in any way but it is closer to my eyes and thus easier to read if I want to read the name of the next street to turn onto since I don't have TTS. In other words, if I need to view the screen, I can do so quicker and refocus on the road than I can if I have a windshield or dash mount.
    Totally agree.
    In addition I like vent mount location since it is in the reach of a hand in case I want to tap a screen. This location is non-obtrusive and inconspicuous
  • I am an old guy so please accept my apologies if this looks stupid. However, one day most of you will be old as well so you may think differently at that point. When you get old (over 50) your eyes don't work as well as they used to. They stop focusing and you need a brighter image if you are going to see anything worthwhile.

    My GPS has a largish screen by modern standards but it is situated about 20 inches from my nose and focusing on it takes a measurable amount of time. Focusing back on the road also takes time and this is a problem. In the daytime, the screen is reasonably bright, then it changes automatically to a night-time setting and it is pretty dark. There is no brightness control (which you would get on a TV or similar). There is an opportunity to improve the design of the GPS.

    One option that might help is to have an optical system on the display like the one used on the little Toyota car (called a Yaris here - may not be sold in the US). It has a speedometer mounted just below the windscreen which uses an optical system for the LCD display which places the image at infinity - meaning you don't have to re-focus to check your speed. With a manual control on the screen backlighting, it should be a big improvement on the GPS models currently available.

    While the Toyota speedometer is built in, I see no reason why an add-on GPS shouldn't feature the same design re focus and have a brightness control. It's going away from the point of this thread but why not a volume control knob as well? I'm all for automatic/electronic settings but a simple volume knob or slider would be easier to find while driving (my car radio still has one after all).

    The Garmin bean bag works well but is clumsy to pack and quite heavy for what it does. I can't comment on its ability to resist summer heat but if the car dashboard plastic is OK then the mount should be also. The same plastic 'foot' is also available to stick onto the dashboard (without the beanbag).

    Having the GPS sitting on the dashboard is OK for me. It's out of my line of sight while driving but close to it and it doesn't block my view of the road. I am tall and my wife is short. Her opinion is different because the GPS is higher in her field of view (her head being lower down). I wouldn't want the GPS mounted higher (stuck on the windscreen) because with its power lead, traffic antenna and microphone wire there would be a lot of cables waving about. With it sitting on the dashboard these drape over it but aren't directly in my line of sight. Again, this is an area where a better design would be appreciated - possibly a small docking station like for a laptop computer.


    If Garmin technicians or marketing staff read this forum there is probably a wealth of suggestions waiting to be used if they were to ask. I'm sure many of us/you could make some constructive suggestions.

    Willy
  • infama 0 Points
    edited January 2008
    I use a TT Go 920 with a vent mount and of course a remote control. Most of what you desire is accomplished with this setup, ie height of mounting, BRIGHTNESS CONTROL, volume buttons on the remote, wires out of the field of view (including TMC wire if done right), minimal distraction due to glancing at the screen, close proximity of device to the driver...

    Only missing thing is the infinity focussing thing you described from the Yaris.
  • To Wandering Willy,

    My Garmin Nüvi 260 does have brightness controls that are independent for day and night settings. I use the beanbag, and in my Honda that puts the unit at arms length. I'm 61, so my eyes are doing that "old man" thing too, but I don't have any trouble at all reading the GPS on the dash just right of the steering wheel.
  • In the daytime, the screen is reasonably bright, then it changes automatically to a night-time setting and it is pretty dark. There is no brightness control (which you would get on a TV or similar). There is an opportunity to improve the design of the GPS.
    Hey Willy,

    I am 61 so I can relate to the visual problems. You didn't mention what unit you own because most of them are able to set both day and night brightness and members are always able to tell you how if it can be done.

    The TomTom One LE is quite small and I appreciate the proximity of the Vent Mount to my eyes..
  • My GPS is a Garmin StreetPilot 2820 which I have had for a year. I will check the options on setting the day/night brightness. I had assumed that they were factory set so thanks for suggesting I might be able to change the current settings.

    Willy
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