Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Smartphone Apps for Drivers

ByLisa Marie Andrews

Ok, so everyone knows that when you are on the road you should only be focused on driving. Even though this is what you should be doing, not everyone follows the rules. Well, there's an app for that. There are so many apps out there for drivers, of course they are all meant to be used when the car has come to a complete parked state. Some of these apps can be helpful if you have a wreck or your car breaks down, and some help give you directions and ways out of traffic jams. Depending on how often you drive and what your needs as a driver are, there are probably many different apps you can use to help make your drive safe and as stress free as possible.

A few of these apps actually make sure you are as safe as you can be. One of them is called iZup. This app determines if you are driving or not by using GPS and blocks you from answering text messages that you may receive while driving. It comes with three different auto response messages you can use if you do get a message. Sadly, this app is only available for the Android Market and doesn't include iPhones or BlackBerrys. Like the iZup app, the Otter app also enables the use of text messaging by determine if you are driving or not. It also allows you to pick different automatic responses to help you keep your eye on the road and not worry about your phone. This app is available for several different types of smartphones.

In the event of having a wreck or a break down, there may be an app out there to help you get moving and back on the road. iWrecked is a great app for the iPhone, in case you do wreck. It has a list of things you need to do after being in an accident like taking photos, getting a hold of your insurance company, exchanging insurance info and anything else you may need to do. The app can also locate the local police station that is nearest you, dial 911, call a cab, or a tow-truck service. iWrecked is a free app for the iPhone. There are also apps like aCar that helps remind you when your car is up for maintenance or inspection, or RepairPal that will help you find repair shops and will even help you find a tow-truck service in the event you break down.

There are also some apps to help you and your car to be more efficient. The Cheap Gas! Smartphone app can determine the gas prices of the gas stations that are by you or are in a certain zip code so you can get the cheapest gas. Beat the Traffic app is a great app for people with long commutes, or who just want to, well, beat the traffic. It scans all of the possible routes you can take to get to your destination, and gives you alternate route suggestions if there is traffic or congestion on your route. For those of you who not only want to be efficient, but also want to be green, the GreenMeter app may be perfect for you. It monitors your driving then shows you your car's carbon emissions, fuel cost, and mpg.

Lisa Andrews
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