(WMC-TV) – ANDY, WILL IT WORK? GripGo = DON'T BUY!
South Memphis native and law student Larissa Redmond's putting her foot down on distracted driving, out of a personal loss.
In February 2012, her fiancé, Clifton Gibbs, was killed by not one, but two distracted drivers at a South Memphis intersection. One was texting, the other talking on a cell phone. Both slammed right into Gibbs' vehicle. He died later at the hospital.
"I still wake up crying in the morning, but you know, it's life," Redmond told students at Booker T. Washington High School, 715 S Lauderdale St.
The loss moved Redmond to found the Collegiate Life Investment Foundation, or C.L.I.F (www.clif2012.org , #ItsJustNotWorthIt) in his memory. Redmond's staff, volunteers and she visit schools and colleges to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
"Put the phone down because it's just not worth it," she said.
It's her experience that makes it worth testing the GripGo universal car phone mount, $7-$10.
Its packaging reads "instantly grips any style phone or GPS," so you can "…talk & drive safely."
"If a product like GripGo can help to provide a hands-free experience, that would be good," she said.
One thing not so good about the GripGo: you have to take your cell phone out of its case every time you intend to use the device. Awkward. Inconvenient.
We installed the GripGo's dashboard mount in Redmond's car. It installed securely. Then, we pressed Redmond's smart phone on the GripGo's gripping surface with considerable pressure and released it as directed to activate the GripGo's adhesive.
The GripGo appeared to instantly grip Redmond's phone as she buckled up for a ride. But the GripGo – lost its grip.
Not once. Not twice. But THREE TIMES – right in the middle of hands-free calls with the speaker feature activated on her phone.
Each time, we re-activated the GripGo's adhesive as directed by its instructions, hoping it would eventually perform like it claims. Each time, the adhesive let go of Redmond's phone, letting it bounce off her dashboard and on to the floor or center console.
"It hurts more than it helps," she said.
The GripGo is a DON'T BUY.
Allstar Products Group of Hawthorne, New York, developed the GripGo.
"GripGo's Polymer Surface was designed to perform like a million suction cups that grip and release over and over again. In our testing with cell phones and GPS devices, the universal mount held up to repeated grips and releases," said an e-mail statement to Action News 5 attributed to the company.
The GripGo never held up for us.
For someone like Redmond, who has lost a loved one to distracted driving, the GripGo is just another distraction.
"When it falls, you're completely distracted," she said. "Your eyes aren't on the road at all. So I think the best practice is to just put the phone away."
The GripGo didn't pass Consumer Reports' tests of phone mounts, either. The magazine's testers recommended the $20 Iottie dashboard phone mount. It holds a phone in place with plastic grips instead of an adhesive. CR's testers said it's easy to use and keeps a driver's eyes focused forward to mitigate distractions.