single frame: Dashboard


Olympus OM-4T, 40mm f/2 Zuiko Auto-S

Agfa APX 100 (x/7-98)
Rodinal 1+50

A law went into effect here this summer prohibiting drivers from holding their phones in their hands while driving.

The only reason I pick up my phone in the car is to skip a song or start a new playlist. I play music from my phone over the car’s Bluetooth link. But my car is just old enough not to have integrated controls. The only way to interact with my playlist is via the phone itself.

I bought a phone holder that clamps to the vent’s louvers. Because the phone is so available, it tempts me more to interact with it. Could Indiana’s new law have backfired?

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20 responses to “single frame: Dashboard”

  1. J P Avatar

    I have the same problem, and add that my bifocals are at their least helpful at that distance.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Instead of bifocals, I have my contacts set to trade some far vision for better near vision. It helps a lot with using my phone.

  2. brandib1977 Avatar

    I use mine some for navigation and find that it doesn’t give me enough verbal warning about what lane to be in or where to turn in some busy city driving. That’s really the only time I need to touch it is to see what turn comes next. I don’t have a way to mount mine to the dash yet but fear that it will be far too distracting once I do. After all, who doesn’t want to look when a notification pops up? When I’m not using the maps app, it’s either on the seat next to me or in my bag on the seat. Out of sight, out of mind.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I use mine for navigation too. I don’t have too much need to interact with it then, but I do wish that when I open Maps that it would stay visible on the screen so I can glance at it while I’m driving to see what’s ahead.

      I hate notifications and turn them off on almost every app. Mail and text get through but that’s it. Oh, and Snapchat, which I only ever use with our daughter anyway.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        I wish mine would keep the next turn visible but it shows me a terrible map that I shouldn’t be trying to read while driving. Sigh. And I wouldn’t have pegged you for as a Snapchat guy!! Haha

      2. Michael Avatar

        Surely the iPhone map app isn’t that pathetic or my definition of “visible” doesn’t match yours. Google Maps stays on screen and shows distance and direction of the next turn by default. What point is a map app that doesn’t? Even if I switch to another app, Android will show the map in a smaller box you can move around (or disable). It won’t do the latter with Waze though maybe that is within app settings.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I use Google Maps on my iPhone, and the screen switches off. It’s maddening.

        2. Michael Avatar

          Get an Android. ;) Or try plugging it into power if you don’t already.

  3. tbm3fan Avatar

    Still a distraction. I personally hate the things in a car for that reason being as how most people can’t leave it alone. My old flip phone can’t do any of that and is mostly off all day. My wife, now keeps hers off when driving as she has seen the light. As for directions she used it, with me driving, in Reno last weekend. The thing irritates me because it doesn’t give me what I want. So after a turn I want to be set up for the next and need to know what lane to be in. With a map I’d know right away even a mile before while the app gives less warning. Overall too dangerous in my opinion since taking your eyes off the road at 70 mph can be long enough to be deadly I kid you not.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      My personal standard is: is this more involved than changing the radio station on the car radio? If so, then it’s too distracting and I should leave it alone.

  4. analogphotobug Avatar

    One thing I’ve never told anyone is that I photograph all my film camera acquisitions with my phone camera. Does a great job and a get my photos right away.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar


      I’ve tried doing that but I always end up with wonky angles. I use my Canon S95 on a tripod.

  5. Daniel Brinneman Avatar


    On your iPhone make sure you have all the latest updates installed. Then keep your phone powered while driving and Google Maps will stay lit up as long as it is the app showing and you are using it for navigation. You can also ask Siri to turn up the volume or set the volume at a %, or ask Siri to navigate to a location with Google Maps or with Waze, then you push Start, you can ask Siri to switch to Dark Mode or adjust the Brightness less, or you can ask Siri to call someone or you can ask Siri, do I have any text messages for all of them or do I have any recent text messages for just the recents, If your car has an iPod USB, you can plugin your iPhone to it and switch to Media/Aux to pick up the audio and control from your steering wheel and if you can’t control it from the steering wheel, ask Siri to skip the song or like the song or continue playing or stop playing, etc. That’s a long run-on sentence.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Daniel, thank you for the tips. The salient one is keeping my phone powered while driving. I don’t always do that. As for Siri, I have her mostly turned off because I kept pocket-activating her and it was super frustrating! Sadly, my car doesn’t have iPod USB. I wish it did, I’d always use it and skip Bluetooth.

      1. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

        Jim, you can disable the Siri button and leave Hey Siri activated. I never have a problem with these settings.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I’ve also found Hey Siri to be too sensitive, and think I’m saying Hey Siri when I’m not. That’s why it’s off. I dunno, maybe I should give it another try.

          My phone is a 6s, which doesn’t support Bluetooth 5.

          I see your post of iPhone tips this morning. When I have a minute I’ll read it carefully and see what I can use to make my experience in the car better. Thanks for writing it!

          1. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

            I used an iPhone 6s until I upgraded to the iPhone 11. Make sure you have the latest iOS 14 and any security updates.

            1. Jim Grey Avatar

              Always. I’m staunch about staying up to date with iOS.

      2. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

        Jim, make sure your Bluetooth is 5.0 or newer. It will support better volume control. Especially in earbuds.

  6. […] was inspired to write this after reading Jim Grey’s comments on his post, Dashboard, where he mentioned having to touch his iPhone to play […]

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