When Tech Attacks: killer car gadgets exposed

When crashing a car, please make sure all technological devices are securely fastened

In-car gadgets can become dangerous missiles if they are not held in their mountings properly. A study in Germany has shown that items such as in-car DVD players, satnav and mobile phones can become treacherous hazards during rear-end collisions.

The experiment, carried out by German car magazine Auto Bild , used crash test dummies to simulate how in-car DVD players can come loose and crash into back-seat passengers. Alarmingly, this can happen at speeds as low as 18mph.

Even at these slow speeds, the scientists at the DEKRA crash facilities in Klettwitz, Germany, said that a flying DVD player would be enough to deliver a fatal blow to a small child.

The study also warned that other car tech can be just as lethal. Mobile phones can come loose and fly across the car, while satnav units can be "sent crashing onto drivers' feet".

Tech attack!

The study focused on gadgets that are held in place by velcro, but other fastenings were also proven to be very dangerous.

Mobile phones, moored by sucker and cradle, were shown to fly across the car when the vehicle was struck from behind.

Sucker cup holders - favoured by satnav users - passed the crash tests. But the other satnav mooring method, where satnav devices are secured by clipping them to the driver's air vent, failed completely.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.