Suicide Knobs – Is That Shit Still Legal?

Suicide Knob 27-07-07_1149

When’s the last time you saw a suicide knob in action? I think the last time I saw one was in my grandfather’s car when I was a kid. He had an excuse, though. He had extra hand controls custom installed due to missing a leg from a run-in with a forklift, so freeing up one hand by use of a spinner was somewhat legitimate.

I saw this at a rest stop here in VA a few weeks ago. I doubt they are street legal but I would love to hear from someone who knows for sure. Probably it’s more like legally selling a kit to turn a rifle into full-auto, but it being illegal to own an automatic rifle. What do you think?

6 Comments so far

  1. poo poo (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

    a quick search turned this up from a michigan police information sheet:

    suicide knobs or “spinners” are not specifically prohibited by Michigan code, and may even be required pursuant to a restricted operator’s license for a person with a disability


  2. misschatter (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

    I’m pretty sure if you’re not disabled, they’re illegal in a car. I have one on my boat, though :-) (without it, I’d never be able to turn that wheel with no power steering)


  3. Wayan (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

    While I do have some “from the south” street cred, I’ve never heard of these called “death knobs” nor any inkling they would be illegal. They’re very often found on redneck trucks all over Florida and I’ve found them to be very useful when driving with one hand.


  4. monavano (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

    I’ve never seen them referred to as such, but they are necessary for disabled persons who say for example, cant fully grasp the wheel or who have use of only one arm.
    I (being in healthcare) never thought that an able-bodied person would even be aware of them.


  5. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 3:29 pm

    They are called suicide knobs because there is excess torque and torsion on the pin in the spinner mechanism, which causes the pin to snap, the wheel to go crazy and the car to go ass over teakettle.


  6. PSolus (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

    They were also called “necker-knobs” – you could drive a non-power-stearing car without having to take your right arm from around your girlfriend’s shoulders.

    If the car had a manual transmission, you also had to teach her how to shift as you pressed the clutch.

    Good times.



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