Whether you’re crossing state lines or just across town for the holidays, getting behind the wheel this time of year is made all-the-more dangerous by the hurried traffic and short days that can extend rush hour beyond nightfall. Fortunately, the advent of smartphones has helped simplify everything from keeping track of car paperwork to dealing with an accident or emergency on the road.
For short trips and long journeys, download these useful tools to help ensure that you’re prepared for any crisis that comes your way:
There’s never a good time to get into an accident, and no matter how prepared you may think you are, it’s bound to be a stressful scenario. In a crisis where your worries progress from injuries and safety to financial to contacting the police and insurance companies, it’s easy to forget necessary steps to protect yourself and ease your recovery. This popular, free app offers a checklist for any driver in an accident, including taking photographs to create a record of the accident before moving vehicles, recording location with GPS, and recording accurate info for a police report. Remember that the other driver’s insurance company will be trying to prove you’re at fault. It’s to your benefit to record evidence to the contrary.
Nothing spoils the holiday spirit quicker than a speeding ticket. This app connects you with a community of users who report speed traps and speed checking cameras around the country. Whenever you approach the vicinity of a reported trap, your phone alerts you to the possibility of a speed limit change or potential law enforcement presence, reminding you to slow down and drive defensively.
Car Care and Roadside Emergencies
Breakdowns can happen at any time, from a flat tire to an overheating engine to a car that won’t start. Rather than get upset, take action. This app shows you how to respond to everyday ’emergencies.’ Even if you have a roadside assistance program, it’s reassuring to know that you’ve got the ability on hand to respond on your own if needed.
Your Insurance Company’s App
At some point in their driving history, most people have fumbled through their glove box searching for proof of insurance. Many states are beginning to pass laws allowing insurance documents to be displayed to a law enforcement officer via smartphone. Most major insurance companies have now launched their own app that will do this, as well as offering a host of other perks, including checking your car’s current trade-in and resale value, seeking out approved auto repair facilities, and recording repair and tune-up history.
If you’re a Triple AAA member, it doesn’t get any cooler than this: you no longer have to call. With this app, just click in and let the company know you need assistance. They’ll pull your location from the phone and be there ASAP. In the meantime, the app includes how-to’s for dealing with car issues like jumping a battery on your own, just in case.
Been enjoying yourself at a holiday party? While not as accurate as a breathalyzer test, this app is a good way to control and limit your alcohol intake, and self-assess your ability to drive if there’s any question at all. By computing a rough blood alcohol concentration by the number of drinks you’ve consumed, gender, your body weight, and the amount of time you’ve been drinking, the app is a gentle nudge to hand over the keys if you’ve put yourself over the safe limit.
What other apps have you found useful for handling issues and emergencies that arise while out on the road?
Author Bio:- John Egan is managing editor of the website Insurancequotes.com, which provides online car insurance news and services to consumers in all 50 states. John’s goal is to deliver high-quality content and Car Insurance Resources to drivers so they can make informed decisions about choices that affect their pocketbooks and their driving experience.