How bad usability damaged my car

Posted by bob korbus on 28th June 2012

Integra Damage  Bad usability stopped me from preventing an accident…  I backed out of a parking spot and as I was about to pull away I looked out my side window and saw a car from the opposite side of the row backing right into me!

Here’s the damage my car sustained. There was just enough time that if I would’ve honked my horn I probably could’ve prevented the accident.  BUT in the small amount of time I had to honk the horn I couldn’t find the horn button.

Here’s why: The 2 horn buttons on the steering wheel of my Acura Integra are very small and mounted on the left and right sides of the inside of the steering wheel as shown here.

The problem is that when I went to hit the horn button it wasn’t there because the wheel was turned which put the horn buttons in an abnormal location as shown here. I was hitting all over the steering wheel but before I could find one of the horn buttons the car hit me.

The lesson is that the horn on a steering wheel should alway be in the center so that no matter how the wheel is turned the horn is always in the same place.  The horn buttons should also be bigger.  These were probably intended to be convenient to push with a thumb when driving but they didn’t work when I needed them.
What about the airbag?  I’ve seen cars that make the entire airbag the horn.  Now that’s the way to do it!
How else can this problem be corrected?

Categories: Designs-Bad

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