Drunk driving, tired driving, texting while driving – each is an obvious danger behind the wheel, but what about those moments something falls through the gap between the front seats and the centre console? The Drop Stop is a low-tech, low-priced option to mind the gap without thinking about it.
- Available at: Showcase, ShopatShowcaseCanada.com, BuyDropStop.com
The Drop Stop is the brainchild of co-founders Marc Newburger and Jeffrey Simon after Newburger almost found himself in a nasty collision once he noticed his cellphone fell through the gap and went reaching for it.
"Dropping and driving" sounds somewhat silly at first, but Newburger's story is probably far more common than any stats might indicate. Phones, iPods, loose change, papers, books – almost anything can fall into the abyss under the front seats because of that exposed gap. Or as Newburger and Simon call it: "The Carmuda Triangle."
The Drop Stop is made of a tough neoprene material (the same stuff wetsuits are made of) that is both highly flexible and durable. It can squeeze into just about any gap in any car, so long as it's 3.5-inches or less in width. It's about 17-inches long with a hollow tip that lets you furl the end inside in case you need to shorten it by one or two inches.
There is a slit on the other side to slide the seatbelt clip through to keep it exposed. The clip is the anchor that keeps the Drop Stop in place, so it moves back and forth with the seat any time the driver adjusts it.
Not surprisingly, it also only comes in black, not just because it's the most neutral colour, but also because the co-founders figure it matches the colour of the gap to begin with. Whatever the reason, it should fit right in from an aesthetic standpoint, regardless of what colour or material your interiors are.
After driving with it for more than a week, I hardly noticed it was even there, and in cases where I purposely put my phone or loose change in positions where they could fall through the gap, the Drop Stop worked as advertised. The only thing that might bother some drivers is that the tighter the fit, the more likely it "bulges" out rather than staying flat.
This isn't really a drawback because loose articles still stay above ground, but the more fickle drivers who care about presentation might have an issue. Otherwise, the Drop Stop is one of those things you put in your car to do a specific job, and you only remember it when it actually does what it's supposed to.