However, not all gear shifters are this easy to use.
In 2016, Chrysler recalled 1.1 million Jeeps and Fiats due to a poor gear shifter design. Many people reported they had thought they’d put their car into park…when they hadn’t. This led to over 100 collisions related to rollaway cars, and sadly, the death of actor Anton Yelchin.
What made this design so faulty?
First of all, it’s difficult to tell at first glance which gear the car is in (see image below). In addition, there was barely any visual or tactile feedback, other than a few clicks, letting the user know whether or not they’d put the car in park.
The car did issue auditory warnings if the user exited without putting it in park, but Chrysler suggests these warnings weren’t effective.
At its worst, bad design prevents users from doing the things they want to do. It can even have fatal consequences.